The Branding phenomenon is mesmerizing. The public would appear to believe that a new logo and a fresh story actually create a new beginning. Do people actually believe that "magic" happens with a new website layout, a fresh headlines and better graphics? You can't fool me. The cable company's reputation didn't change when they tried this, trust me. As a friend has said through the years, "Same dancing pig. They just slapped on a different color lipstick."
Reputations are once in a lifetime, be it your personal reputation or that of a business. Business reputations develop through good business practices, reliability, solid leadership and strong relationships. Until there is a major change in the players behind the scenes, there isn't usually a chance at a fresh run at reputation. And even then, that's a managed campaign requiring a colossal team effort to shake a tarnished image.
Reputations are fragile. The concept of Reputation vs. Brand needs to be talked about, confronted and honestly assessed. Wisdom, experience and history make up the business legacy that leaders need to share with the next generation lest they think that a new Brand will solve it all.