Marketing Veteran Joey Armstrong says Rebranding Efforts are Ripe with Opportunity

Joey Armstrong

There’s no question that 2020 put businesses to the test. Owners and operators had to decide how they would proceed in the face of unprecedented challenges while meeting financial benchmarks as best they could. It was uncharted territory for millions and the ramifications of the previous year will linger for many more to come. Some entrepreneurs decided to partner with marketing experts and decide on strategies for 2021 while growing the business alongside profit margins. It was the most opportune time to make waves, but Joey Armstrong says those who took the leap in 2020 will see the payoff soon. Joey Armstrong is a natural-born marketer whose work on corporate rebranding efforts has made him a well-known figure. Below, we’ll explore ways some businesses cleared the hurdles brought on by COVID-19 and how Joey Armstrong sees the next year playing out. Let’s get started!

There are some rebranding projects that are long overdue. As a proponent of social responsibility, Joey Armstrong looks to companies like Pearl Milling Company and products like Cream of Wheat to see the changing of the times. Per this March 2021 article from Babson College, “brands that have long featured Black caricature, cartoons, and mascots on their packaging” are finally taking “steps toward rebrand their products.” This includes Aunt Jemima syrup, Ben’s Original rice and the Mrs. Butterworth’s brand. The root cause here is a long-standing association between skilled cooks and African Americans. It’s outdated, if we’re being generous, and the fact that major labels are leading the charge gives Joey Armstrong faith that similar firms (the Kansas City Chiefs, possibly) will follow suit.

There are other rebranding efforts that are a sign of the rapidly changing times. The French oil and gas company Total will “change its name as part of a push to diversify and grow renewable power and electricity production,” according to Reuters. Spurred in part by the fiscal damage done in 2020 due to the lack of people driving and flying, Total also has its eye on environmental goals. TotalEnergies will invest billions in renewable energy options as it aims to “reduce oil products to a third of its sales from over half now.” The prevalence of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road is writing on the wall, says Joey Armstrong, and this rebranding effort shows a company positioning itself for the future.

Of course, not every rebranding goes off without a hitch. Joey Armstrong points to a recent effort from Coors Light that drew criticism from the mineral water company Evian. According to, the “blue and silver, snowy mountains set against a light background” employed by Coors were a bit too close to home for Evian. The latter company called them out on social media — which is always less than ideal from a public relations standpoint, says Joey Armstrong. Still, no long-term harm is likely but this is a possibility companies must consider when updating their image.

According to Joey Armstrong, the worst thing a company suffering through identity woes is to do nothing. All rebranding measures will take time to sink in with consumers and once that has been accomplished, it’s a safe bet that sales will emerge from any detectable slump. Of course, there are many types of brand crisis that will sink a company and those will require an entirely different approach. Be sure to check back here for additional marketing and branding insight!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store