Russian company Kalashnikov, manufacturer of the AK-47 assault rifle, responds to western sanctions with complete rebranding, including a new logo, new slogan, new look to their guns, and even a branded line of survival gear.
The AK-47 is one of the most recognized rifles and symbols worldwide. Kalashnikov knows this and is appealing to it. “For our country Kalashnikov is one of the national symbols. That’s why we worked on rebranding the company with pride and realization of the responsibility we took upon us,” said Tina Kandelaki, head of the PR firm behind the rebranding.
Millions of Kalashnikov rifles, which are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, have been sold worldwide. However, the firm has since felt the blow of sanctions imposed by the west, which makes up the world’s largest market, due to Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
While the AK-47 is an iconic rifle known for its durability, especially amongst military and guerilla forces worldwide, they’re ultimately a company looking to profit. They recognize the necessity of targeting new markets to offset the American embargo, now appealing to hunters and collectors, particularly in Asia and Africa, to buy their products. They aim to do so through the new logos and branding assigned to their three lines of firearms for military, civilian, and sports, as demonstrated in the video below:
Although it’s too early to see how their rebranding will impact the company, there are three key takeaways any business can learn from their changes:
- Know when to change your image, but stay true to your product and values.
- Take advantage of opportunities for expansion.
- Know your audience and do what it takes to continue to appeal to them.
Trends change fast in today’s market. Businesses need to be adaptable to continuously turn a profit amongst increasing domestic competition, in addition to the sanctions, along with the inconsistency of Russian military orders.
As they have lost their primary market, Kalashnikov is wisely expanding their product offerings, as well as reworking their image to appeal to wider markets, especially those abroad.
Do you think this rebranding will help their business? Let us know in the comments below.