This year our readers voted “Striving too far from the original design and concepts” as the choice for corporate rebrand failure. It was also said that a “logo that has an awkward or bad wordmark” could be harmful to the brand. Please keep in mind while reading that this is an opinionated piece. After reading let us know what your top 5 worst rebrands of 2012 are!
5. Chuck E. Cheese’s
The Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise rolled out a new branding effort this year aimed at today’s younger market in a new campaign called Chuck E. Rocks. So far, all that has been revealed are CGI renderings of the new character that looks younger, is slimmer and plays guitar. There were many problems with this rebrand including getting rid of the old Chuck E. completely and losing sight of the previous brand completely. It also came with some bad publicity from the voice of the previous Chuck E., and the rebrand introduced with traces of the old brand which made it feel unfinished and unnatural.
I wanted to love this new design and I don’t think that Microsoft 100% missed the mark. I like the minimalistic feel it gives as opposed to their previous clunky design. The Segoe font feels simple, but it fits in with their current branding and the overall “Metro” style. The logo is inspired by the old iconic design, yet it feels modern, new, crisp and clean. The problems with this refresh from a brand perspective are over-simplification and unoriginality.
Considering the lack of imagination that the Microsoft Store has produced I’m not surprised with the new mark. Everything is so familiar. The bright plain t-shirts, the hanging nametags, the clean minimal feel, the light wooden accents, the mandatory “cool guy” jeans that their employees wear, the icon only storefront. Even the name is exactly the same replacing Apple with Microsoft.
The new mark is colorful, hip, trendy, and it looks fresh compared to the old icon, but does it really represent the brand? The design community and the average consumer all seem to agree that the icon is very hard to distinguish. Despite this out-lash, and no real explanation of what the actual icon represents (Many are suggesting an upside down baby in a mothers womb) Lifetime seems pretty confident that their year in the making rebrand project will sit well with women everywhere.
2. JC Penney
Providing customers with middle-class merchandise and affordable items without the high-end brand influence. Many of the brands inside JCPenny are internally designed and produced. They have announced a new transformation where they anticipate becoming “America’s favorite shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices.
The complete brand overhaul includes a new logo which brings back a new “Square” design that was reminiscent in the previous logo design which was often compared to Gap’s logo redesign marketing disaster. The new redesign comes less than a year after the previous design. Not to mention the multi-billion dollar company’s previous design was designed by a 3-year graphic design student, Luke Langhus.
1. Bongo Comics
This year, Bongo Comics introduced a new brand image. The new designs include a new logo and new comic title redesigns. This particular revamp tugs at my heart. Sure Bongo is not the biggest comic book company in the world. They may not have superheros with deep voices and manly statures like DC or Marvel. The current logo looks like it could back up both of their superheros combined. Making the logo more fun would make sense considering what comics are on the shelves for them. After all, these comics are meant to make you laugh. Great idea. Bad execution. It didn’t help that the roll-out included imagery of Homer eating the old logo and another character throwing it away.
I wanted to get an expert opinion on the matter, someone from the comic book industry and what better man than the comic book guy himself? Here’s what he had to say about the new mark.