Changing your corporate brand can be an exciting – and scary – process. It’s a necessary task; designs become dated, company missions and objectives change, and competition is fierce in every professional vertical. A good logo/brand change can rejuvenate an established brand, rope in new and diverse audience segments, and increase sales. However, a bad branding initiative can confuse or alienate your customers, and diminish your brand’s visibility. And it’s not just small businesses that are susceptible to misguided design; enormous global brands have been guilty of implementing an unsuccessful rebranding attempt. We examine 3 of the worst, and why they are so unsuccessful:
1. Brooklyn Public Library
It’s easy to see why the Brooklyn Public Library chose the design direction it used in the design; the flat, sans serif font is far more modern and better suited to digital collateral than the original block logo. But this logo fails in a fundamental way: it undermines the brand’s mission statement. Libraries promote literacy and education; as such, they should never have gone with a “creative” word spelling.
Clothing brand Gap introduced a new logo in 2011; while the design aesthetic is simple and clean, the logo failed in a major way: it clashed with Gap’s loyal consumer base, which recognized and loved the original logo for its representation of the casual, clean brand that Gap was known for. However, Gap recovered from the gaffe with grace; after issuing an apology to customers, the company reverted to the classic design.
3. Animal Planet
The Discovery Communications-owned cable channel revamped its logo in 2008 in an attempt to re-launch the brand as a more adult-oriented channel, with more sophisticated programming. The logo fails in communicating that message; how does a multi-sized, misspelled text logo demonstrate sophistication? It doesn’t.
A rebranding can’t just be a design-oriented project; strategy, communications practices, and company values all must play a role in the conception and execution of a new brand. It can be a tough exercise; that’s inSegment’s Creative and Branding team is so successful at helping brands establish or rejuvenate themselves; the same integrated, interdisciplinary approach that inSegment is known for also comes into play with every logo creation.