What's in a Name? Lessons from Three Rebranding Exercises in India

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG184 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Marketing Communication/ Product management, Rebranding/ Corporate Advertising
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2006-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Hindustan Unilever Ltd; Axis Bank; Vodafone Plc.
Industry : Fast Moving Consumer Goods; Banking; Telecom
Countries : India


This is a series of three caselets that would help highlight the issues involved in rebranding, especially a corporate rebranding exercise.

The first caselet is about the rebranding of India's leading fast moving consumer goods company Hinsustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) to Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) in an effort to benefit from the global brand positioning of its parent Unilever Plc. without compromising on its local heritage.

The second caselet is about the rebranding of one of India's top private sector banks, UTI Bank, to Axis Bank.

Rather than paying royalty for the use of the brand name 'UTI' that was also used by some unrelated entities, the company decided to go for a brand name that was culture neutral and had a global appeal.

The third caselet is about the rebranding of the popular Indian telecom brand 'Hutch' to 'Vodafone' after the world's leading telecom company by revenue Vodafone Plc. (Vodafone) acquired a controlling stake in one of the top telecom companies in India Hutchison Essar Ltd.

While HUL's marketing communication campaign was comparatively low-key with the company just showing the name and logo of HLL morphing into the new name and logo after each product ad, Axis Bank and Vodafone launched two of the most memorable and high-decibel campaigns to communicate their respective name changes. Axis Bank's campaign sought to reassure the bank's customers that nothing had really changed in the bank except its name, while Vodafone campaigns tried to leverage on some of the most popular earlier ads of Hutch to introduce the relatively unknown Vodafone brand (in India).


Understand the issues and challenges in rebranding a well established brand, especially in the banking sector in India.

Understand the rationale behind the marketing communication campaign and how the campaign was executed by the ad agency.

Understand the issues that could lead to the decision of a company to rebrand.

Understand how a rebranding exercise for a company in a particular industry differ from that in another industry


  Page No.
Caselet 1: 'Hindustan Lever Limited' Rebrands as 'Hindustan Unilever Limited' 1
Caselet 2: 'UTI Bank' Rebrands as 'Axis Bank' 4
Caselet 3: The Rebranding of 'Hutch' to 'Vodafone' 7


Branding, Rebranding, Integrated marketing, Marketing Communication, Customer acquisition, 360-degree media, Brand equity, Media, Strategy, Banking, Telecom, FMCG, Unilever, Vodafone, Hutch, UTI Bank, Axis Bank, Ogilvy & Mather

Caselet 1: 'Hindustan Lever Limited' Rebrands as 'Hindustan Unilever Limited' - Next Page>>


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