Reinventing Your Brand? Don’t Fall for These Classic Company Slip-Ups

Rebranding Mistakes

Reinventing Your Brand? Don’t Fall for These Classic Company Slip-Ups


Rebranding isn’t just about changing a company’s appearance; it’s a dynamic process that can breathe new life into a business and draw in fresh audiences. Whether it’s a complete brand overhaul or a subtle facelift, rebranding demands thoughtful planning and execution. Regrettably, many companies stumble into common traps that can jeopardize their rebranding success. In this article, we’ll delve into some of these common blunders, sharing real-world examples of rebrands gone awry and those that struck the right chord, while exploring why these outcomes occurred.

Neglecting Proper Research

One of the most significant missteps companies can make during a rebrand is neglecting thorough research. Relying on gut feeling or personal preferences alone can lead to a rebrand that falls flat and doesn’t resonate with the intended audience.

In 2010 clothing retailer Gap unveiled a new logo that the public swiftly rejected. They made the mistake of not engaging with their customers during the redesign. The backlash was so intense that Gap reverted to its old logo within just a week.

To avoid this pitfall, invest time and resources in market research, customer surveys, and competitor analysis. A profound understanding of what your audience desires and what your competitors are up to can steer you toward well-informed rebranding decisions.

Lack of Clear Brand Strategy

A well-defined brand strategy is the cornerstone of a successful rebrand. Unfortunately, many companies dive headfirst into rebranding without a clear and comprehensive plan, leading to a muddled and inconsistent brand image.

In 2009, Tropicana’s packaging redesign was met with confusion and declining sales. They changed the iconic orange with a straw image, and consumers struggled to identify their favorite product. Tropicana ultimately reverted to its classic design.

To dodge this pitfall, outline your brand strategy before embarking on the rebranding journey. Define your brand’s values, mission, vision, and market positioning. This will serve as your guiding light, ensuring consistency and coherence in your brand identity.

Inadequate Communication

Rebranding involves not just changing the logo and website, but effectively communicating these changes. Transparent and consistent communication is often underestimated and can lead to confusion among customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Coca-Cola’s introduction of “New Coke” in 1985 is a classic example of botched communication. The company failed to effectively convey why this change was happening, leading to widespread public backlash and the eventual return of the original formula as “Coca-Cola Classic.”

To sidestep this blunder, craft a detailed communication plan that outlines how and when you’ll unveil the rebrand to the public. Ensure that all employees are well-informed about the changes and can address inquiries from customers and partners. Consistency in messaging is the linchpin to a successful rebrand.

Rushing the Process

Rebranding should never be rushed; it demands time and thoughtful consideration. Companies that try to expedite the process often make hurried decisions, resulting in costly mistakes.

Airbnb’s 2014 logo redesign, known as the “belo,” was ridiculed and even mocked as resembling various body parts. The company was accused of rushing the rebrand without considering the public’s perception.

Make sure you establish a realistic timeline for your rebrand and allocate sufficient resources. Take the time to test and refine your new brand elements before unveiling them to the public. Rushing can undermine the rebrand’s success and lead to unforeseen consequences.

Overlooking Consistency

Consistency is the lifeblood of a successful rebrand. It’s not just about refreshing the logo and website; it’s about ensuring that every aspect of your business, from marketing materials to customer interactions, aligns with the new brand identity.

Mastercard’s 2016 rebrand was a shining example of consistency. While the iconic interlocking circles remained, the brand’s fresh approach was consistently applied across various touchpoints, from digital experiences to card design. This approach was well-received and propelled the brand forward.

It’s extremely important to create brand guidelines that offer clear instructions on how to use the new brand elements consistently. Train your employees, partners, and vendors to adhere to these guidelines, ensuring a unified brand image.


Rebranding is a transformative journey that can rejuvenate your company’s image and drive growth. However, this process is not without its challenges, and common mistakes can hinder its success. By addressing these pitfalls through comprehensive research, a clear brand strategy, effective communication, employee involvement, patience, and unwavering consistency, you can boost the likelihood of a successful rebrand that resonates with your audience and propels your business to new heights.

October 30, 2023

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