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The WORST on ReBranding

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Re-branding your company after a few years of being on the market, when it has reached a solid costumer background, is the best strategy to boost the market placement that you have achieved, and it gives you the possibility to place your product amongst younger generations of customers with a more modern approach to your corporative identity.

But Re-Branding is not something to be taken lightly, because you might just be “fixing what isn’t broken”, in changing a solid corporative image into something that doesn’t click amongst your audience or that they just simply hate! … Or even worse you could fail to reach a younger costumer and loose the brand followers you’ve assured over the years all for a lousy new corporate image.

So, like they say: “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it!” look at Coca-Cola for instance, while Pepsi has re-branded over 11 times since its creation, Coca-Cola has maintained the same brand image since its foundation (for over a hundred years). You see, when you’ve reached a solid corporative image, this is something to be maintained and made stronger over the years, and to be played around with remember that from a well kept corporative image depends half or most of your company’s success.

Here are some the major companies of the world that we’ve summed up which we have failed in achieving a successful re-branding process, for you to check out and avoid ever falling into the same pattern…

Logo Re-design that Flopped!

Ok so you have to admit that sometimes even an amazing logo re-design may take a while to reach customer approval since Customers have a tendency to attach themselves to preset ideas and a sudden change in a brand image they love and follow will confuse them to the point of dislike. But hey logo re-design is not something to be scared of, in fact when its done in the right way it can have a major positive impact in your company’s success. just always make sure that you’re taking a re-branding for the right reasons and not just to be on tomorrows page, and not just to stir things up.

There are certain major brands that have forgotten that with a strong brand the best is to be consistent and subtle, so in keeping a sense of familiarity between the old and  new corporative image, you will achieve a smooth re-branding transition that your customers will feel confortable with.

Easier said than done…..here’s many bad logo re-design cases on MAJOR worldwide brands, some of which are even hard to believe.

Sprite

logo_sprite-794746 THE OLD
sprite_old

sprite_new_can2009

THE FOLLOWING

THE NEW

Sprite’s logo re-design goes from a saturated old logo design full of splashes bubbles and anything else that can be related to a soda, to a simple and cleaner logo design that seemed to be right on spot, to finally taking on a final alternative design available on canned soda that takes on the saturated old design all the way!

Windows 8

Windows-7-logo Windows-8-logo (1)

THE OLD

THE NEW

“If you’ve used Windows as long as we have, Microsoft’s had the same logo since we can remember. This is going to change with the Windows 8 consumer preview, with the company replacing the logo in favor of something new. According to CNBeta, the logo will replace the current one on the charms bar. The original screenshot (top image) was taken from a recently dropped Windows 8 build.

We aren’t entirely sure if this is official yet, as the builds we’ve seen to date don’t sport this logo yet. It’s worth noting that CNBeta’s news page shows some photoshopped images that are available elsewhere. Whilst the Chinese can be hard to decipher, the site says that these are “renderings” of what the Windows 8 charms bar and hardware could look like with the new logo.

It seems strange that Microsoft would change the logo so close to release, moving away from branding that has existed for at least two decades. Take this one with a grain of salt for now, folks.”

Mountain Dew

pepsi_mountain_dew_throwback_new_03062009 bj_martinez_mountain_dew_4_by_bjtm86-d2ysbzx

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The new ‘MTN DEW’ design is part of the Pepsi re-brand. Another logo redesign that just couldn’t get away from the saturated images from the past, and just had to include as most graphic effects as it were possible….the text-message style rename or the ultra slanted and abstract illustrations on the new can are just plain awful.”

Animal Planet

Animal_Planet_Europe_2003

Animal_PlanetTHE NEW

THE OLD

“Although simplicity is good in logo design, if the logo doesn’t convey a proper message it is worthless. Animal Planet’s re-designed logo appears to be “simple” and the horizontal ‘M’ doesn’t make much sense. The absence of the elephant and globe is seen as the removal of the channel’s message. Critics called it an instant failure, an amateur design and said that it was lacking in meaning.”

Adidas

Adidas_Logo (1) adidas_logo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Adidas logo, representing the durability and elegance, is a three parallel striped design that symbolizes the mountain which is to point towards the goals and challenges that lay ahead. Adi Dassler, together with his brother Rudolf Dassler, created the Adidas logo, aiming to provide the athletes with the finest possible gear. But many fans of the brand don’t seem to be satisfied yet with the new design and prefer the classic old school adiddas logo.”

iTunes

ituneslogo itunes10logo380

THE OLD

THE NEW

“You have probably already seen it, iTunes icon has been redesigned recently. The good part of this redesign is that Apple is getting rid of the disc, which makes perfect sense (Windows still has a floppy disc as a save icon for Word 2007). The bad part is that the gradients in the new icon are aweful, anyway you can still change it for an alternative icon.”

GAP

GAP Gap (1)

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The Gap logo redesign made a lot of buzz on the blogosphere, and there is a good reason for that: it looks awful. Many designers reacted to it by sending their proposals or fakes on Dribbble, the very opportunist (and contested) 99designs also launched a contest offering $500 to the best design. Ironically, Gap itself is considering to turn to crowdsourcing.”

Discovery Kids

Discovery_Kids_logo discovery_kids_lam

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Although the new Discovery Logo is much more modern and clean, at the same time “Discovery Kids Redesign” fails to attract children, although it’s a neat and simplified redesign, it is not much not much appealing for a younger audience.”

Channel Five (5)

1000px-five_logo-svg C5-Logo1

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Channel 5′s new logo is a totally unnecessary re-design on a logo that was clean and modern, the new logo sadly looks like a logo straight from the 70’s hope that this was what they were going for.”

Quark

quark-2~s600x600 quark_logo_3168

THE OLD

THE NEW

“While the last iteration of the Quark logo was less than original (see the scottish arts council logo, or the bahamas logo) – this new logo is just as generic. Faux bevel and emboss with a shiny metallic effect. Next Please.”

Sierra Mist

SierraMistLogo-original sierra-mist-old

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The sierra mist design was not great before, but now its just a blurry mess. This is a far to literal interpretation of the brand.”

Tropicana

Tropicana images (3)

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The new Tropicana redesign has been almost universally rejected by designers and the customer base. This redesign was an attempt to make the brand appear simple and down to earth. In the end Tropicana went away from its signature iconic image: the orange with the straw in it–making it difficult for customers to spot the brand at the store.”

Walmart

wal-mart-logo walmart-logo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Walmart updated their corporate logo last year, transforming its identity from a 70′s looking heavy typeface to a much friendlier sans serif. I’ don’t mind the typeface update, but the orange star burst says nothing. Much like Kraft’s random-swooshy-flower thing – this new symbol for Walmart says nothing. Its too generic and looks like stock art. Walmart was trying to renew their image, but IMO they failed horribly.”

Kraft

kraft Print

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The Kraft re-branding is wrong in so many ways. It is slightly reminiscent of several non descript-random-swooshy pharmaceutical logos I have seen time and time again. While the original logo may have not been stellar, it was a staple for such a long time that the decision to re-brand seems like it was made on a whim. Perhaps a refresh would have been a better option rather than a complete re-branding. This project was designed by a combined effort of consumers, employees, and Nitro Group.”

Capital One

capital_one_logo images (1)

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Capitol one joins the army of nondescript swooshes in the vast sea of logos. (Look up any medical related logo and watch the swooshes abound!) I’m not sure what the swoosh means or what it does for the logo. The only thing I like about this logo is the addition of the red – it ads some contrast and character.”

XEROX

xerox-logo XeroxLogo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Xerox is yet another world wide brand that falls into the category of re designed logos that are worse than the one that came before it. Xerox previous clean and modern design was much better than the Xerox design with the 3d effect X included, that resembles Xbox’s x design in more ways than one.”

Frigidaire

frigidaire_logo

THE OLD

frigidaire_logo THE NEW

“The Frigidaire brand celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2006. Still a leader today in the “white goods” (major household appliances), the company currently offers a line of appliances which include refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, air conditioners, and both gas and electric stoves.”

NBC UNIVERSAL

nbc-universal-logo new-nbc-universal-logo
THE OLD THE NEW

“The new NBC logo: now this one, we thought, HAD to be a joke. As one of my co-workers said “it looks like they downloaded a font from dafont.com, typed NBC Universal, and called it a day”. And, where’s the peacock? Explaining the minimalist new corporate design, NBC Universal’s chief executive Steve Burke told employees that the old logo “seemed kind of busy.” Busy and iconic! When people think of NBC, they think of the peacock. There is a definite emotional connection there because the peacock has been part of NBC’s branding since 1956. NBC has made a crucial mistake by taking away every part of the design that is iconic. They could have kept the peacock, or the globe, or even the font!”

AT&T

att_inline3 att_newlogo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“My problem with the new logo is it doesn’t make any sense. The changing thickness of the bands in the original logo created stylized shading and highlights, making it sort of 3-D. The new logo is 3-D in a completely different way, yet it still kept the changing thickness in the bands, which now serve no functional purpose at all.”

Master Card

Mastercard-logo logo Mastercard 2011

THE OLD

THE NEW

“The new version of the icon seems to be following the standard “more is more” approach of on screen design: drop shadows, glows, bevels, gradients? We got ‘em all!”

AOL.

778px-AOL_old_logo.svg new-aol-branding

THE OLD

THE NEW

“AOL is one of the pioneers of online communication and has lead to play a very important role in the industry. It has always been a prestigious company with a bold, strong and inspiring logo design. This is probably why AOL’s logo re-design saw a variety of criticism, both positive and negative. AOL’s old logo design was simple, professional and unique.”

Skittles

skittles skittles-new-logo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Skittles Logo: This logo redesign was done by London logo designer Miles Newlyn, who gave the impression of a rainbow colored tongue in the new logo design.”

Re-Branding that sucks!

Companies sometimes decide to go all the way and wont just settle with logo re-design, but want to go all the way with a whole re-branding plan, which can always be a risky business. Some succeed at change more than others, since many companies take such a drastic take on their company’s re-branding plan that the customer can’t even recognized the initial brand anymore…so when re-branding, better safe than be sorry.

Pepsi’s Million Dollar Investment on Re-Branding failed?

pepsi_logo pepsi

THE OLD

THE PREVIOUS
PEPSI_NEW

THE NEW

“Pepsi is no stranger to logo redesigns. But the company reportedly spent $1 million on their latest reincarnation, and it turned out like… this.

Frankel describes the attempt as a “real waste of time and money, especially if you’ve seen the design spec document… An amazing, purposeless document that has no brand value at all,” yet cost Pepsi so much.

The white stripe on the new logo varies across Pepsi products, getting wider or thinner depending on product. The design team that spearheaded the campaign explains that they’re supposed to be “smiles,” but we don’t really see it.

The Pepsi logo seems to have been redone nearly once a decade over the last century — while Coke’s iconic logo has barely been touched. It’s not hard to see which is the better strategy here.”

Gatorade’s Rebranding….Leaves us Clueless?

gatorade_new gatorade_pepsico_new_packaging_2009-600x409

THE OLD

THE NEW

“If you’ve recently taken a trip down the beverage aisle in your supermarket, you may have noticed something funky going on with Gatorade. It’s not only that there are plenty of bottles of the sports drink on the shelves, but under the auspices of parent company PepsiCo, the bottles themselves — labeled merely with the letter “G” — appear to have fallen victim to a questionable and confusing rebranding effort.

Unfortunately, PepsiCo is starting to make rebranding missteps a habit. Last year, it unveiled are branding of the Tropicana orange juice brand. The new concept was so hated by consumers that PepsiCo scrapped the redesign and went back to the old packaging. However, the Tropicana failure was a success in one aspect: it deflected attention away from the questionable redesign of Gatorade, which thus far, PepsiCo has refused to abandon.

Instead, the company is charging forward with the campaign, creating new ads and adding to an ever-expanding list of options on the shelves.”

PETCO Re-Branding Disaster

petco.logo

THE OLD

petco_logo_detail

THE NEW

“Petco is one of the most successful companies when it comes to supplying food and other items for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, hamsters and so on. Originally established in 1965, Petco today has more than 22.000 employers and 1.000 stores across the U. S.

New branding phase for Petco is total disaster, from re-designed logo to changed slogan. Maybe the only good thing is a little bit different Blew Mews and Red Ruff, picture mark of Petco. They look happier than before.”

The SciFi Channel’s …a slang word for syphilis

SCI_FI_Logo_HQ syfy

THE OLD

THE NEW

“Maybe the SciFi Channel should have checked out urbandictionary.com before it rolled out its new name. They would have discovered that, in most parts of the world, “syfy” is a slang term for syphilis.

The company’s main justification for the change was that, while they couldn’t trademark the term “sci fi,” they could own the alternate spelling.

In an interview for TVWeek, president David Howe explains another reason: “[T]he thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it… It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip.”

Not surprisingly, “the response was completely negative,” Frankel tells us. “[The change] alienated many longtime fans, and it was completely ridiculed.”

London’s weird Olympic Logo

ateny-logo 448153

THE PREVIOUS

london_2012_logo

THE OLD THE LAST

“If there’s anything we’ve learned today, it’s that you shouldn’t mess around too much with a classic. And there are few things more classic than the Olympics.

But the organizers behind London’s 2012 logo wanted to inject a little modernity into the branding of their Games. As their website puts it, “Our emblem is simple, distinct, bold and buzzing with energy…. It feels young in spirit… Not afraid to shake things up, to challenge the accepted. To change things.”

Unfortunately, the unveiling was met with resounding disapproval, and even hostility.

ABC News reports that the logo, which cost $800,000 to create, was generally deemed as childish, ridiculous, ugly, and in no way representative of London or the Games. Visually, “it’s really hard to understand what they’re trying to say,” Method’s Alicia Bergin commented.

In an unofficial public poll by the BBC, 80% of those surveyed gave the logo the lowest possible ranking.”

Altira …..Who?

Philip-Morris-USA Altria_logo

THE OLD

THE NEW

“When your products are known to cause adverse health effects leading to premature death, it makes sense that you’d want to change your brand name. In January 2003, Philip Morris Co. Inc., the world’s largest cigarette maker known for brands such as Marlboro and Virginia Slims, changed its name to the Altria Group. But instead of creating distance, the name change generated tremendous backlash among consumers who saw the move as yet another attempt of the tobacco company to sidestep responsibility for the harm that its products cause.”

Accenture…the Meaningless Re-Brand

andersen_consulting_logo_3601 accenture-logo-design

THE OLD

THE NEW

“When Andersen Consulting cut ties with Arthur Andersen, they did the worst thing a company could do, they let a marketing consultant choose the new brand name.

The result sounds like the quintessential, meaningless, “big corporation” name, Frankel says. Although it was supposedly inspired by the phrase “accent on the future,” it tells the customer nothing.

As another one of Time’s worst name changes, the article says, “The change cost Andersen/Accenture an estimated $100 million to execute and was regarded as one of the worst re-brandings in corporate history.”

Blackwater Now Seems to be Written With an X

blackwater-logo1 Untitled-3

THE OLD

THE NEW

After some major human rights violations tainted Blackwater’s name in 2007, the company took Wired’s advice and tried to rename itself.

According to an ABC News report, the company explained that it chose ‘Xe’ because the word has “no connotations.” It’s completely meaningless… and confusing.

Unfortunately, a simple name change won’t erase the public memory — the company is still generally referred to as Blackwater, or some variation of “Blackwater, now renamed Xe”, and it’s struggling to get business.”

Here’s a Little Something on Re-Branding…

Finally, we’ve brought you some of the best pointers that Eric Brody gives us on his piece: “Good Re-Branding Gone Bad” about the common pitfalls that a designer team must avoid when approaching a re-branding project:

a. Ready, Fire, Aim. The significant time and expense of re-branding warrants tangible returns. Isolate and agree upfront to the most important business and brand issue(s) that you’ll address through the effort. (…)

(…) c. Going It Alone. Just as you wouldn’t diagnose your own physical ailments, the objectivity and expertise of an external consultant is critical to evaluating, creating and credibly selling internally to your leadership and teams.

d. Not Having Key Influencers and Decision-Makers On Board. Do not undertake this effort until these important allies are on board. Understand their opinions and expectations. And keep them appraised — garnering their buy-in through each phase of the effort. (…)

(…)g. Inward Perspective. Your external audiences are the arbiters of your success, so understand how they view the organization. Contrast and reconcile these perspectives against your own to determine the gaps that need to be filled to realize your objectives. But do not be led by your internal biases and dogmas.

h. Looking In The Rear View Mirror. Do not be driven by how things used to be. Because too much has changed since you last revisited your brand — your market, your consumers [along with their expectations, motivations and practices], your competitors, etc.

i. Disregarding Your Legacy. On the other hand, don’t cast aside those equities that you’ve worked so hard to create. It takes a long time to build familiarity, reputation and relationships. Don’t disregard what’s working, because these are the building blocks for enhancing your relevancy. (…)

(…) k. Branding As A One-Time Event. As James Gandolfini would say “fuggedaboudit.” Because branding is akin to a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line. It will take longer, and cost more, than you imagined. (…)

(…)m. Neglecting To Patrol And Control The Airwaves. Monitor and share in the web-based conversations about your organization. Participate in the blogisphere. Help yourself control (at least as much as you can) your own destiny.”(…)


51 Responses to “The WORST on ReBranding”

  1. Graeme Q
    February 20th

    Adidas actually have three logos.  The older one is for the Adidas Originals collection, the newer one is for Adidas Sport and there is a 3rd for Adidas Style.

    • Valid point you’re making here, it’s always great to get some feedback from our followers, if there’s anything you think we should to add to this post, contact us with the respective links and info. Best regards.

  2. baadaa
    February 20th

    Nice round-up. Thanks for these.

    According to the Windows blog, it seems pretty official.
    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/02/17/redesigning-the-windows-logo.aspx

    While I get the point on many of the examples here, I can’t agree with all of them. Accenture, for example, is considered a successful rebranding case to many. The disconnection from Andersens help them survive; as Andersen Consulting dissolved, having no identifiable association worked for Accenture. Also, Accenture serves Fortune 500 companies. Did any one of them find Accenture accidentally by cool name and logo? I don’t think so. In this case, their branding identity goes far beyond just the logo and naming.

    • In the case of the windows 8 logo you’re right it seems pretty official.in other words nothing to do at this point!, lets just hope they listen to the public’s reaction on it and decide to make some modifications to make it more appealing to all of us, or to make a more logic transition. Now in the case of Accenture although the point you’re making is a pretty valid one, in the sense that they’re re branding case has a just cause, not because it’s serves Fortune 500 companies do we consider it to be right to completely past from your previous corporative identity. always great to have some feedback form our readers and followers, on our topics… Best regards!

  3. You have provided an awesome site.

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  5. Really nice tips, i learned more. Please keep on post like this..And it is more useful for me.. 

  6. A logo change–or even a complete rebranding–is a fact of business life. Businesses need to remain relevant, authentic, and differentiated in the minds of their target audiences. Sometimes that means building a new foundation on which to base your strategy. Here’s a simple test to see if you’re business is ripe for rebranding: http://www.how-to-branding.com/Branding-Quiz.html

  7. Rebranding is actually a risk for some but it will make you feel good when you know people still wants your products…

    • That’s right! It can be the road  to success when done properly. Best regards! Check out some of our related posts……

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  9. Nice article with some really good examples and advice. Looking at the new Windows logo, it looks like its been designed to represent the tiles of the metro style interface that has been incorporated into all the recent Microsoft products. It would probably look better if they used the old colour scheme with the new logo.

    • You’re right this in fact could probably a great option to make a logo re-design between the old and the new one. Great to see that our article was of great use to you. Don’t forget to follow us on  and twitter. Best regards!

  10. good thank you

  11. Great collection, i just found out Phillip Morris change their name. 
    2012 London logo are so awful.

    • These are not all logo designs from 2012, and although not ALL logo design is bad all the way, there are some pretty awful logo redesigns cases out there. why don’t you check out another posts of ours on logo design? Create An Unforgettable Logo Design, best regards!

  12. Completely agree! Tried and true lessons for new artisist and designers… Patience :-)

  13. While most of the rebranding was bad, I don’t feel all of them were so.

    In fact, having worked for Accenture in the past, the change was almost a necessity as there was so much happening in the then Anderson Consulting. Rebranding it to Accenture was a good thing – although the brand recognition is far far down the list when compared to other companies. They could have done a better job really. And the Tiger Woods episode did not help them either. Hope the new branding initiative that they have taken up would help them.

  14. Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    great blog!

    • Designer
      January 18th

      Hi buddy. Let’s hope IE v. 10 will be more CSS3 standards-compliant. By now Chrome and Firefox are still better options to properly render web pages.

  15. Chelyn24
    February 21st

    For me, rebranding is a process that left a kind of amazing reaction to all the viewer… I believe with the skills of our brother manufacturer and every development they made, surely bring different kind of happiness to all…

  16. A smart re branding approach can guarantee a company’s success and permanence in the market for many years to come…..hope this was your case also!. Best Regards!

  17. #design – the designer in the building is now laying down in a darkened room.. sit down before reading these and… http://t.co/4abudlFB

  18. .. great post about re-branding gone totally wrong! ~ ReBranding, worst examples – via @webdesignshock http://t.co/Zrq6do7D #branding

  19. RT @sallar: طراحی مجدد لوگوهایی که واقعا فاجعن. http://t.co/GWDsZ8er

  20. RT @sallar: طراحی مجدد لوگوهایی که واقعا فاجعن. http://t.co/GWDsZ8er

  21. The WORST on ReBranding http://t.co/dpDq6BGW via @webdesignshock

  22. The WORST on ReBranding http://t.co/9GW9UlHj via @webdesignshock

  23. The WORST on ReBranding http://t.co/yt7nEpgd via @webdesignshock

  24. ReBranding, worst examples http://t.co/UxTQkILx #logo #branding #identity #design

  25. The WORST on ReBranding – via @WebDesignShock – http://t.co/ZXQeEwlg #branding #brands #logo #design

  26. I’d cry if I could stop laughing. RT @GraceOris: I don’t totally agree but still something to think about. http://t.co/gHfOJUxP

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