4 Classic Rebranding Failures

by Dora Wang on Apr 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM

4 Classic Rebranding FailuresRebranding is far more than just slapping a new name or new logo onto your existing company. Rebranding requires not just a vision but a clear plan. That vision should guide your customers into a new way of seeing your company — a vision that inspires them to reengage. However, not every company sees it this way, to their own downfall.

If a company doesn’t take into account culture and goals — that is, if they take shortcuts — a rebranding campaign can sink a company or cause ridicule.

Learn the don’ts of company rebranding from four forehead-slappers.

Don’t ... Let Marketing Take the Rebranding Reins Like Accenture

Though they should be involved, don’t make the mistake of letting marketing take full reins of the change. The CEO, not marketing, should take the lead and use the CMO as a tool of relaying that rebranding to the public.

Accenture made this mistake. Formerly known as Andersen Consulting, the company was forced to change names when it severed its connection with Arthur Andersen. However, it allowed a marketing consultant chose a name that’s essentially meaningless: Accenture. According to Time, Accenture paid $100 million for what is being called a corporate “nonsense word.”

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Don’t ... Forget to Google Your New Brand Name Like SyFy

This should be a no-brainer, but look into what your brand name means before you decide to slap it on your company or product. That’s a lesson SyFy learned the hard way. Because it could not trademark the name SciFi, the television channel rebranded itself as “SyFy.” According to TVWeek, SyFy thought the new brand would resonate with “hip,” younger, text-savvy viewers. But, um, the word SyFy — which any Urban Dictionary search would have told you — is a slang term for the STD syphilis. Whoops.

Don’t ... Mess With a Classic like Pepsi

Unfortunately, Pepsi didn’t learn anything from Coca-Cola’s famous brand. Coke hardly ever changes its logo, treating it as an icon that doesn’t need to be updated. Allegedly, Pepsi company spent $1 million on a new logo to grace its cola product, but no one really even noticed.

Many people see Pepsi’s slight logo change as a waste of time and money. It’s hard to say how a change this small would have any impact at all. And no impact means no brand distinction. So, why do it?

Don’t ... Do the Same Thing As Everyone Else Like Capital One

If you do decide to monkey with your logo, just make sure you don’t make it look ... well, exactly like everyone else’s. In 2008, Capital One decided to revamp its logo, adding a swoosh. A swoosh, even by 2008, had been done a million times before. In fact, it practically goes hand in hand with another brand: Nike. You don’t want to spend millions to make a brand new logo that reminds everyone of a completely different company.

Learn from the mistakes of others. If you’re going to rebrand your company, make sure you’re not making it even worse off than before.

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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