Rebrands - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rebrands Good Bad Ugly

Rebrands are common parts of the life cycle of modern brands. Some failing businesses have been saved with a radical shift in direction, while others have maintained continued success with frequent and considered changes to the brand

Here’s our breakdown of rebrands - the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good - McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the world’s most famous and instantly recognizable brands. The ‘Golden Arches’ are seen in cities and towns across the world and their ‘Big Mac’s’ are loved by their customers. McDonald’s have not rested on their success and have taken the approach of continually growing and rebranding with slight tweaks and improvements. This has helped them improve on their popular products and adapt to customer’s new needs.

McDonalds Rebrand
Turner Duckworth: McDonald's branding

Traditionally a fast food restaurant, McDonald’s saw that there was a growing demand for healthier food. This spurred the addition of salads to the McDonald’s menu, healthier options in ‘Happy Meals’ and they now even have vegetarian meals available. Their ever-popular breakfasts are now served 24 hours a day in some markets in response to their customer’s wants.

These slight tweaks can also be seen in their packaging as well. Instead of changing their logo, McDonald’s have kept the brand relevant and modern by updating their packaging. This has allowed them to stay current without risking weakening their brand recognition.

By listening to their customers and making small, yet frequent changes McDonald’s has kept pace with other fast-food chains without damaging support from their core customers.

The Bad - Gap

The American clothing brand Gap decided to change its logo in 2010 and it was met with strong pushback from its customers. Gap is seen as a staple fashion brand as they offer modern, stylish clothing at a reasonable price. They have a reputation for producing great denim products and are a go-to brand for many people. Their old logo represented these values, as it was strong, dependable, timeless and accessible by all.

The blue brand colour and recognizable font were swapped for a more modern logo that abandoned their core values and alienated their customer base. A heavy Helvetica font sitting on top of a faded blue square did not represent the brand. The new logo was quickly rejected by the public and forced Gap to revert to their old logo just a few days later.

Gap Brand Jeans

By not considering how their customer views the brand and the logo, Gap made a costly mistake. However, the ability to admit that they were wrong and willingness to change back ultimately saved the brand.

The Ugly - Cardiff City FC

Sports teams have gotten a lot of things wrong when it comes to branding over the years, with one of the most noticeable ones in recent years being the rebranding of Welsh soccer team Cardiff City FC. When a new owner buys a team the fans expect new signings and a new manager, but Vincent Tan decided he wanted to do more.

Cardiff City FB Rebrand

‘The Bluebirds’, who wore blue for almost 120 years, were now told that their home kit would be red. The bluebird on their crest was changed to a red dragon and the crest colour was also changed to red. Tan did not expect the ferocious reaction from the die-hard fans with some promising to not go to games until the old crest, colours and jerseys were used again. Cardiff City FC pressed on with the change to red for the next three seasons, but ultimately the club reverted to the old ways. The crest now contains a small red dragon as per the owner's wishes.

Rebrands are common parts of the life cycle of modern brands from radical reshifts to continually changes. Here’s our breakdown of rebrands - the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Not only did the rebrand destroy part of the club’s heritage, but their stubbornness and refusal to listen to their fans created a divide and ultimately cost the club support and money.

Need Some Help?

Rebranding is an extremely useful way to freshen up your brand and adapt to your customers. With expert help, you can navigate the pitfalls of rebranding and boost your business. Get in touch with us today and see how Custom Fit Online can help you rebrand.

Roy McClean
Jun 03, 2020
By Roy McClean

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