Keeping Customers By Keeping Up with the Times: 3 Franchise Concepts That Recently Rebranded
Keeping Customers By Keeping Up with the Times: 3 Franchise Concepts That Recently Rebranded

Jamba, CircusTrix and Togo’s all recently decided it was time for an upgrade—here’s why.

Just like you (hopefully) grew out of the clothing style you rocked in high school, there comes a time—or several times—in a brand’s life that it must revamp, reinvent and rebrand. 

Everyone loves a makeover sequence, after all. Here are three chains that didn’t need a visit from the Fab Five to thoughtfully execute their recent rebrands. 

Jamba rebrands to keep up with customer habits

In June 2019, Jamba announced that it was setting the Juice loose with a rebrand that spanned a new tagline, menu, logo, cloud-based POS system, smartphone app, insulated delivery bags, third-party delivery partnerships and store redesign. 

This may sound like a lot of changes, but in reality, Jamba was simply moving a couple of steps in the direction its customers were already going.

The new, popstar-esque name wasn’t much of a stretch for the brand, after all: “Our loyal fans have been calling us Jamba for years,” noted a press release announcing the rebrand. Jamba’s new tagline, “Smoothies, Juices and Bowls” also spells out the brand’s efforts to be known as more than just a go-to juice shop. And what Jamba’s new digital accessibility and national partnerships with Postmates and Uber Eats lack in timeliness, they make up for in necessity.

“For nearly 30 years, Jamba Juice has led the way in creating and defining the smoothie and juice category as we know it. Now, as the category continues to mature and grow, Jamba Juice is ready to evolve to stay one step ahead,” said the press release.

That sums up the thought behind many rebrands: times and consumer habits are changing, so get busy accommodating or get busy fading into obscurity.

CircusTrix rebrands to keep growing 

In March 2019, CircusTrix announced the launch of its DEFY franchise to encompass its nearly 80 extreme recreation parks that were previously operating under various different names. CircusTrix was experiencing a major growth spurt, and the rebrand was a necessary step toward building a stronger company identity.

“We're growing fast, and using one brand name lets us innovate and make improvements quickly and easily,” said Brendan Burke, CMO of CircusTrix. “For DEFY, operating under dozens of separate brand names limited our ability to roll out new parks and attractions as quickly and efficiently as we would like. We like to move fast, and a single brand identity enables us to do so.”

Burke said that DEFY saw an increase in visitors both during the rebranding period and after. “This is a sign that our efforts are working; we went to great lengths, especially with our strategic marketing efforts, to let our customers and the general public know what we’re changing to, why we were changing, and what they can expect from us as we move forward,” he said. 

Due to the rise of personal branding via social media, more individual consumers now understand the aims of a company rebrand. CircusTrix’s transparency during its rebrand clearly went a long way in gaining customers’ respect—and patronage.

Togo’s rebrands to evolve its legacy 

In 2017, Togo’s put together a three-year plan to transform the legacy brand into “Togo’s 3.0.” In truth, much about the brand hadn’t changed since its founding in 1971.

“Every brand needs to be refreshed by going through an evolution to stay contemporary,” said Glenn Lunde, CEO of Togo’s. “The quality of our sandwiches has continued to be elevated for the last 48 years—that hasn’t changed. But the expectations continue to be raised as to what ‘quality’ means. We can’t rest on our laurels.”

Togo’s rebranding plan spanned several updates, including a new logo and tagline, better ingredients, even bigger portions, new technology like ordering kiosks and bright, contemporary store remodels.

This even spurred an operational update in how Togo’s food is made. “All our inputs—ordering on a kiosk, app, online or at the register—now all go to the front of the speed line,” said Lunde. “It’s easier for employees and results in a higher quality, more accurate execution. It accommodates the convenience of today.”

Any franchisee reading this is probably sweaty and wondering: How much does this type of rebrand cost existing owners? Lunde emphasized the importance of keeping costs down for franchisees during a rebrand. 

“Normally, the more custom items, the higher costs for franchisees,” said Lunde. “We challenged ourselves as a franchisor to add elements unique to Togo’s, but through functional touches, equipment and flooring that are all standardized. We focused on adding real value while keeping it simple."