Sure to top every Worst Rebrand List is the Gap’s branding fail. Only a week later, the Gap reverted to their original design, the iconic logo of 24 years. Seldom has the internet reacted with so severe a maelstrom of fury than they did in 2010 when the chunky sans-serif blue mystery-square appeared for the first time. Julie Weiner of Vanity Fair described the new logo as the “despised symbol of corporate banality,” in a 2010 article. Shortly after the furor, Gap changed back to its original logo, leaving everyone to wonder if it was a legit rebrand or a PR stunt.
INT. CROWDED BOARDROOM, 2019
CEO: “Here’s the deal. Our holdings flatlined in 2006 and began on a 10-year-cataclysmic nosedive in 2010. Does anyone have any ideas how to fix this?”
VP OF BRANDING: “…We could add a rocket ship icon next to our logo?”
The late 2000s were a great time for rebranding. Social media was taking off, which meant there were new ways, both organic and paid, to get your new brand out there. However, the same was true back then as it is today — don’t change just to change.
Don’t pivot just because you see others pivoting.
While being “twitterpated” by the possibilities a new brand could bring, Tropicana dropped a lot of the character and personality that people had come to appreciate and enjoy. This was something that millions of people saw sitting on their kitchen table every morning. So many people tried to jam a straw into an orange, allured by the promises on that carton – and now all of it was just… gone. In Tropicana’s case, they learned VERY quickly that they shouldn’t change.
As it turns out, there is something that rhymes with orange. It’s “20% drop in sales.” A mere two months after the rebrand, PepsiCo switched back to the old packaging and ads.
Some brands who didn’t quite make the list, but deserve the lack-luster title of—
As you can see, there’s more to a good visual identity than meets the eye! We hope you enjoyed this fun look through some spectacular branding cases, which illuminate not only the effectiveness of aesthetics, but also the power of public perception!
Ready for something funky-fresh?
Take the next step towards a distinctive brand identity, backed by strategy.