Striving too far from the original design and concepts was the top choice for corporate rebrand failure according to our readers in the recent poll article “Top 10 Worst Corporate Rebrands“. In addition, voters overwhelmingly named MasterCard Worldwide the worst corporate rebrand of all-time. MasterCard Worldwide received 32% of the vote, which was nearly double the percentage of the next closest finisher. NBC Universal was named the second worst corporate rebrand ever and received 18% of the vote, which was still 14% less than MasterCard.
When asked what they believed was the main cause of a corporate rebrand failure, 32% of GraphicDesign.com readers, or nearly one in three, responded, “Striving too far from the original designs and concepts.” The next highest percentage went to “A logo that does not represent the company visually,” which received 24% of the vote. Nearly 400 members of the graphic design industry voiced their choice.
The third and final multiple-choice asked what makes a “bad” logo. “Logo that has awkward/bad wordmark” fetched one-third of the vote, while “Logo that is transformed into something that is too far from the original” was the second most popular response at 30%.
Needless to say, deviating from a company’s traditional brand value was the main issue for many in the graphic design field. In honor of that fact, here are 10 more Corporate Rebrands gone wrong that I feel strive much too far from the original concepts and values. Some still remai n and some have reverted back to the original.
Please keep in mind this is an opinionated article aimed at learning from mistakes and is meant for educational purposes.
The retail chain spent a big chunk of its $200 million ad budget in 2009 on new TV and digital ads to re-introduce themselves as “The Shack” in an attempt to be trendier. To add insult to injury signs outside of stores remained RadioShack during the transition making it utterly pointless. Also you will notice that the new logo actually reads “Radio Shack The Shack”.
9. Best Buy
Best Buy attempted to introduce this new mark in 2008. With lowercase text and an upside down different shaped tag. While not the worst mark to look at in the end, the brand value was completely lost in the final product. Most importantly, the logo really failed on it’s glowing storefront application.
In 2001 Frigidaire rebranded their logo for their 90th anniversary celebration in attempt to modernize their presence. While the new mark feels up to date, it feels irrelevant. I’ve missed that classic logo ever since they changed it. It reminds me of when all the cool cars from the 70’s started turning into boxes in the 80’s.
In 2010, Skittles introduced a wordless mark that was supposed to be a literal translation of “Taste The Rainbow”.
This redesign came less than a year after the previous rebrand. The complete JCPenney brand overhaul includes a new logo which brings back a new “Square” design that was reminiscent in the previous logo design and often compared to Gap’s slip up.
Netflix received a slew of backlash when it announced a price increase and that it would split up the company into two units — one dedicated to its streaming service and the other for its DVD-by-mail business. Also introducing a separate name Qwikster. Subscribers criticized the move as irrelevant, complex and clunky for users of both services and threatened to cancel their memberships. The Qwikster buzz only lasted a few months until the CEO Reed Hastings decided to keep things as is. While the company stuck by the price increase, Mr. Hastings wrote on the company website that “it is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.”
4. Windows 8
The new Windows 8 logo was created to complement the Metro interface, while paying homage to Windows’s logos of the past. The logo before looked like a vibrant, proud waiving flag. The new icon is a flat series of four squares that have a perspective effect applied to them. This one definitely strayed much too far from the original in my opinion.
3. Royal Mail
In 2002, Royal Mail (the post office in the UK) tried to re-brand itself under the name Consignia. Executives at Royal Mail wanted to re-brand in order to convey that its business was more than mail. Instead they ended up with a name that the public thought was outlandish and meaningless. They phased the name out over the following two years.
2. Brinks / Broadview Security
Brinks, the well known and trusted brand name for security systems, alarms and overall home security has spent between $70-120 million over the last few years in an attempt to recreate their brand as “Broadview Security“. Adding to the convolution Brinks still exists and ADT now owns Broadview. Brinks now seems to still be going strong with the old faithful logo maintaining Brand worth.
1. To Each His Own Opinion!
What’s your choice? Let us know what you think is the worst Corporate Rebrand of all time.