Rebranding Attempts that Failed

It is no secret that having a strong brand identity is a crucial factor to having a successful business. Whether simple or extravagant, branding allows consumers to be able recognise a product or company within the first couple of seconds of looking at it. Every now and then brands will try to ‘revamp’ or completely redesign the aesthetic, a lot of the time it can be refreshing, yet on occasion…. It can really damage a brand. This can cost ridiculous amounts of money and in some cases companies have removed the rebrand and reverted to their old style in order to keep their customers happy.

Before I go on any further, I wanted to aim to keep my blog a positive one… we can call this an exception. And on that note, let’s look into some rather miserable attempts:

Gap

Why? You may be wondering. What are they trying to achieve? You may be thinking, but don’t worry because most people are thinking that too. Rather than sticking with the sleek, serif font that is easy for anyone to recognise, they decided to go for Helvetica. So, rather than looking like a clothes shop, it now looks like a road sign with a randomly-placed, gradient box. It screams ‘Mind the Gap’ over ‘Shop at Gap’ (I’m cringing too but I couldn’t resist). As expected, the general public, designers and fans of the shop hated it and despite the amount of money gap paid to change their logo they actually reverted back to their original one within a week. They tried, but should’ve just stuck with what worked.

Pepsi

Oh, dear me. Where to start? The ‘Pepsi Globe’ is well recognised all over the world and when they created the new one they did base it on all sorts of science. They said it was supposed to represent the Earth’s Magnetic Field as well as a ‘cheeky little smile’. They also apparently used ‘The Golden Ratio’ in order to make the ‘Pepsi Ratio’, as many famous artists had used the  Golden Ratio to create masterpieces before. They also thought that by tilting it upwards that they were showing they were moving forward. Trust me, there’s even more ‘fascinating reasons’  as to why they designed it in this way, I’ll put a link to the Wikipedia below if you fancy the challenge of understanding it all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Globe

The only issue is that it looks awful compared to their older logo. The last one was sleek and looked more appealing. The new logo looks lazy and the font they used looks boring and doesn’t (in my eyes) represent a sugary drink at all. As for the ‘smile’, well… that’s not what I’m seeing. Rather than looking like a friendly drinks company, they managed to accidentally advertise everything that’s wrong with the product. The ‘smile’ looks like a fat cartoon character’s stomach and, if you’re like me and that’s all that you can see, it screams ‘Don’t drink this product or you’ll be morbidly obese’. Oh well, at least they stuck with it and didn’t get pressured into changing it back.

ZocDoc

I’m not saying that the new ZocDoc brand was particularly badly designed; I just think that the designers should have considered their character profile a bit more before going ahead with their plans. The older logo did look slightly too corporate and scary, I will admit, but the simple font looks professional and the teal/grey colour scheme looks clinical. Yes, it might be a bit boring but at least it looks like a trustworthy medical company. The new logo looks like it has been designed for a paediatrician, the little icon ‘Zee’ is an ever changing face which is supposed to evoke how the patient feels. Isn’t the smiley face system mostly used on children? Again, I’m not criticizing the design work itself, it’s actually pretty clever; they just needed to consider what they were trying to represent.

British Airways

This isn’t a massive disaster- it was just a bit of a silly plan. As they’re British Airways, you should expect that the Union Jack on the tail of the plane would remain a strong identity factor for the company. They didn’t. They thought that by having ‘World Images’ on there instead it would give them a more global and caring identity. In theory, it’s a nice idea and the graphics look quite appealing, but at the same time they are completely tarnishing the idea of it being a British company. They are called ‘British Airways’, not ‘Global Airways’. They phased their little global plan after two years. You can only try I guess.

So what can be gleaned from these examples? Sometimes, you need to just stand by what works and a rebrand isn’t always needed. When u are going to rebrand, think about the company and what it is that you are trying to represent and in Pepsi’s case… over-complicating the new design with tonnes of theory can still end up looking poor.  Anyway, it’s time to revert back to being positive and not giving any harsh criticisms (for now).