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The Power of Rebranding! Does a Rebranding Help Your Waste Management Company?

April 24, 20244 min read

The answer is “it depends.”

I know that it’s not an answer, but it’s the best possible answer. Indeed, many factors determine the need for a rebranding and the impact it could have on your company.

But first of all, what is a rebranding?

Rebranding is not only about changing your company’s logo or colors. Rebranding is a complete operation that should start with a change in the company's mission statement.

The mission statement, using what Bain and Company shared on their website, “is a definition of the company’s business, who it serves, what it does, its objectives, and its approach to reaching those objectives.”

As you can read, it’s deeper than the simple idea of changing a logo. Even if, in many cases, that’s the first thing that comes to mind or eyes.

The above definition describes a rebranding very well. It’s like changing the company.

Indeed, when you change the type of business or your target market, you are changing your company.

More importantly, everything changes when you change the company's goals and objectives.

Let me analyze a few examples of rebrandings in the waste management field.

The last one is the rebranding of Covanta.

Covanta is one of the largest waste-to-energy operators in the market. It started its operations in 1986 and arrived in April 2024 as Covanta. In April 2024, it announced its rebranding as Reworld®.

What changed?

It changed its mission.

Indeed, in the previous months, it has been awarded by the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA) with the Platinum Level Award for Environmental Excellence. And awards that express the company's change in its mission: becoming a leader in material management.

The company was awarded 2022 the Award for Excellence Winner for Outstanding Community Service in Camden, New Jersey, for something similar.

It was in 2022 that the rebranding process started.

It started with a new statement about being the leader in material management, which is completely different from the original statement that defined the company as a waste-to-energy company.

When you think about Reworld®, you cannot think about the old waste management company that grew to produce energy from waste.

What is the lesson you should learn from this rebranding process?

It’s a change that the company made to position itself as a new reference point in the market and build it working in advance. Without changing what it continues to do, incinerating waste to produce energy, but adding a new level before that process: segregating the waste materials to save the largest amount of natural resources, proclaiming itself as the material management company.

That’s not only a radical change but an important lesson for you. You can also do it at your small waste management company. It’s important to do it when you think of focusing on a specific type of waste stream or planning to add complexity to your waste management process.

The most important thing is to plan all the steps carefully, starting with the PR (public relations), as Covanta did.

Another interesting example of rebranding is what Waste Management did in February 2022, changing its original name to WM.

In this case, the goal, as its CEO shared, was to remove the word “waste” from the company name.

Indeed, the idea is to pique people’s interest in a different way of managing their waste stream.

The company didn’t change its colors, only its message, although not in the direct way Reworld® used.

In that case, there is another interesting thing you can learn. It’s important to leverage the perception of your company, even in small things. That’s what WasteManagement did: change its brand in WM. Indeed, as a consumer reading the name for the first time, you don’t think the company is a waste management company, but you think it is probably one that collects and recycles.

That’s the perception.

WM did that using PR, sharing how important it is to increase recycling processes and support preserving natural resources, even if it continues to own and use landfills.

Returning to the initial question, “Does a rebranding help your waste management company?” rebranding is a complex process that should be managed carefully and with a complete plan that educates people about the change you want to do, supporting it with the new direction that the company wants to take. A direction that will create advantages with your target audience, mainly the environment and public opinion.

If you are planning a rebranding, consider the advice I shared.

All the best

Sam Barrili Signature

rebrandingbusiness strategistbusiness strategiessam barrilithe waste management whispererwaste managementjunk removalrebranding waste managementmission managementmake million with waste
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Sam Barrili

Sam Barrili I'm known as the go-to guy for helping waste management companies execute growth strategies I started my journey in this field in 2009 when I finished my degree in Toxicological Chemistry and joined a wastewater treatment company to develop its market. Since then, I helped dozens of waste management companies in America and Europe increase their annual profits by over 25 million dollars thanks to my SAM Method.

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