Top 3 lessons learned from rebranding failures

Posted on July 6, 2019

Many brands change their appearance over a certain period. When a business is expanding into a new market, under new management, or having difficulty scaling their business, they may decide to rebrand. It can be a risky decision to make because you don’t always know the outcome. A failed brand identity can have a negative effect on the customer and the brand. Learning from common mistakes with rebranding can move your business in the right direction. Here are three common mistakes you need to avoid for long-term growth for your brand:

  1. Forgetting your target audience.

Your target audience has an interest in your product or service and they help your business to have a winning strategy. It can be difficult to identify your target audience. However, once you identify who your customer is, your goal is to retain that customer at all costs. It may be best to start with a survey to see how your current customers feel about your brand, what they like or dislike, and where can improvements be made. Asking for their opinions first can save you a lot of trouble. Your target audience is the reason you are still in business; don’t take their opinions for granted.

If you are expanding into a new market, try doing some market research to see how your brand will fit in. You can be leading your business to a dead end if you make the decision to rebrand based on your emotions. If your customers are not excited about you rebranding, you may feel pressured to start the process all over again. This can be embarrassing and cost you a lot more money. If your rebranding attempt has failed it may be best to revert to the original brand identity.

For instance, J.C. Penney rebranded in 2012 to “JCP” and created a logo that resembled an American flag. After a few failed attempts they decided to do some consumer research. They discovered that their customers preferred the classic J.C. Penney logo. Therefore, they had to revert to the original logo.

  1. Changing your name… Less is not always more.

We are familiar with the theory that having less is essential to having more. However, in the case of JCP, removing some of the letters or the complete name does not relate to this phrase. People attention spans are getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean your name should, too. We may use acronyms like lol or wtf, but from a branding standpoint it is not a good idea just to get the attention of the younger audiences. Your name should represent who you are and what you stand for. Your name is the first thing people hear when you introduce your business; and is an important part of communication within your business. If your name is abbreviated, how will it be pronounced correctly?

Don’t lose the most important element in the process of rebranding. The name of your business tells your authentic story. Consumers will pay more for a product or service with a brand name they like. Many popular brands have dropped their name for abbreviations and people continued to call it by the original names because that is what they are familiar with. Consumers prefer to buy a product with a brand name they recognize. Replacing a memorable name with a forgettable one is dangerous for your brand.

For example, Dunkin’ Donuts got rid of the second word in their name. This rebrand attempt left their audience confused. Now they are just Dunkin’. How can they get rid of the item they’ve been renowned for selling for all this time? Why remove donuts?

  1. Making poor aesthetic choices.

When you are rebranding make sure that the fonts, icons, and colors represent your brand. Visual aesthetics including the following elements: color, shape, pattern, line, texture, weight, balance, and scale. Your brand should be aesthetically pleasing, but it should also communicate what it is that you do. Having a raster logo can lead to problems because it is made of pixels. It can become blurry if you scale it to a large size. Don’t focus on trends because they do go out of style. Having a simple and significant logo is best. If you have a complex logo it will be difficult to recognize at small sizes.

The fonts should not conflict with the icon. Making bad font decisions can confuse the viewer. Sometimes the font only need a simple enhancement like using a modern font or changing the weight. For instance, a rounded, fun font may be appropriate for a daycare, but not for a law firm. Using too many fonts can show that your brand is cluttered. Use a maximum of two fonts on your logo. Make sure your fonts are consistent throughout all your marketing materials.

Colors are an important factor for your rebrand because consumers can make purchasing decisions based off the colors you use. Colors can influence the perception of your brand. Always avoid using your favorite colors; just because you like them doesn’t mean they represent your brand. The use of color psychology can help you attract more customers.

The shapes you use within your logo mark can make or break your brand identity. Using negative space within a shape can create an impactful logo mark. The shapes you use must convey a powerful message that’s resonates with your brand. Research your industry to see what types of shapes they are using and find ways to be creative.

By working with our graphic designers in Atlanta, we will provide you with an effective brand strategy. We will provide the expertise it takes to rebrand without losing your customers and gaining new ones. Contact us today!