Moments Of Immediate Regret In Branding | Crisp Digital
A brand is for life, not just for Christmas. For many companies that have established a strong brand identity, their iconography and values can sometimes outlive the people who created them as well.
The ideal of every company either establishing a new brand or altering an existing one is to create a framework for all of its marketing campaigns that will endure even if everything else changes about the business and the landscape surrounding it.
However, not every branding exercise is as successful as Apple’s iconic minimalist silhouette or the red and white of Coca-Cola, but some campaigns go even further than this and are almost immediately considered moments of regret.
Gap’s Six-Day Rebrand
One of the shortest rebrands of a major company ever seen, clothing retailer The Gap replaced its memorable blue square logo in 2010 with a strange mix of Helvetica lettering and a blue gradient box at an alleged cost of over $100m.
The intention was for the established brand to look to the future after years of losses, but the ridicule and backlash meant that the old logo lasted just six days before the company sheepishly returned to its original look, making a far more subtle alteration in 2016.
Arguably the most famous brand disaster in history, Coca-Cola, stung from years of being beaten in taste tests and having its market share eroded for years by the Pepsi Generation made a dramatic and widely publicised change, giving Pepsi all of the ammunition it would need for years.
In an attempt to appeal to younger drinkers, New Coke was a radical change in approach, dispensing with tradition and the classic formulation and creating so much animosity that the decision was reversed in just 77 days.
Proof that Coca-Cola does not do anything in half-measures, this failure was so monumental and complete that their sudden u-turn ended up making the company even more successful in the long run.
A classic example of why you should avoid fixing what isn’t broken sometimes, the Royal Mail Group wanted to change their name to match its variety of different services.
Consignia was the chosen name and was immediately pilloried and boycotted by the Communication Workers Union until the decision was reversed a year later.
Apparently, this decision was not learned from, as in 2022 the company changed their name again to International Distributions Services plc amidst similar controversy.
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