Rebranding is a method by which companies and people rewrite their future by changing their name or focus, and essentially erasing sections of their history. Rebranding is a marketing tactic used generally by a person or company that has failed or done something reprehensible. Major corporations are the groups that usually rebrand as their customer base is important, and it is paramount that the customers view these brands favorably. Not all rebranding is a result of negative feedback though, some rebranding is done for simplicity or better name recognition. Many famous brands such as Google, Snickers, and Pepsi, rebranded at some point, and now it would be absurd to refer to these famous products by any other name. I like to view rebranding as a company taking steps to reconnect with their customer base in a way that leads the customer to feel as though they have actually grown with the company, since it technically has only existed for a short time to the customer. Rebranding is not only used by brands and companies, recent trends have shown that public figures often rebrand themselves to shed an image. Two famous examples of rebranding done by public figures can be seen in the case of singer, Miley Cyrus, and basketball player, Metta World Peace. Miley Cyrus decided to rebrand herself as a raunchy act, dropping the wholesome country girl role she had built for herself throughout life, while Ron Artest wanted to show he was a more amiable man as he became Metta World Peace. Both of these public figures made a change in order to rewrite their history, and while it seems to be an impossibility in the Internet age, both cases have worked out almost exactly as the individuals planned, with the public all but forgetting who they used to be. Rebranding is a vital tool in any public interaction, and while it may not save a failing business, it can effectively change a brand’s history when used wisely and strategically.
I was recently searching through my old things in storage and I made quite a few interesting finds. Aside from the pop culture relics that are my old clothes, I found some toys and video games I used to enjoy. The things I found reminded me of a simpler time, a time when there wasn’t so much regulation on what was actually sold in stores. When I was a child everything was marketed to us, we had toy guns, candy cigarettes, and countless questionable role models. Looking back on life as a child in the 90s, as unsafe as it seemed, it was generally safer than it is today. I know the Internet is a huge part of the problem today, but I just don’t see how playing with certain toys could have adversely affected my growth. One of the toys I found was an action figure of the Marvel character, Punisher, and while I have fond memories of innocently playing with that action figure, I now know that Punisher was basically just a killer, who only targeted bad guys. Knowing what I know now, I would never willingly purchase some of the toys I once played with for my children, but the problem is that new toys and gadgets are being built everyday and they are probably twice as harmful as anything ever sold in the past. There are always studies decrying newly released toys and entertainment devices, but in my opinion, there is never enough time to accurately determine the toxicity of the items in question before they are replaced with the next batch. I would say that my generation turned out relatively well in spite of all the dangerous toys and games, and I believe that no mater what marketing schemes we were exposed to as children, it is our upbringing that ultimately defines our future life choices. As long as parents take an active role in every aspect of their child’s life, I’m sure the kids will turn out just fine.