Brands are doing a lot of crazy things these days, some of which work, while most don’t. So we, the big-headed people at Choorma Studio, bring to you our brand new series, “Choorma Reviews,” where we take a deep dive into everything art and design, of course, with our own Choorma Gyan in between.
We are starting off this self-proclaimed amazing series by looking at some of the worst branding nightmares. Brands spend millions of dollars on their branding strategy, hiring the best talent, and doing the most they can, and yet, failed branding examples are more common than you might think.
Thankfully (for us reviewing these branding catastrophes), things don’t just disappear into the abyss these days, even though many of these brands would prefer it if they did.
That means we can dig into the following rebranding failures and see exactly what went wrong, and that’s precisely what we are going to do, looking at 3 brands that fell victim to significant branding failures, and the ride doesn’t end here; we have a few key branding lessons for you designing enthusiasts.
1. Going Minimalistic…In a Wrong Way – Tropicana Branding Catastrophe
Tropicana’s packaging was updated in 2009 as part of the company’s rebranding efforts. The transition from the classic Tropicana logo—a straw inside an orange—to a cleaner, simpler look with more negative space did not go as smoothly as had been hoped.
One of the biggest mistakes in the redesign was getting rid of oranges, the main ingredient that drives consumer demand for orange juice. The orange was removed and relocated to the top of the carton, where it was less prominent in the new design. With the opening of the carton, they hoped consumers would experience a sensation similar to that of squeezing a real orange. The hat was a lovely addition but wasn’t enough to make a difference, and the design was too simple to be effective.
Customers complained that the new package looked like it came from a cheap supermarket brand because of its simplified appearance compared to the original. Consumers were perplexed by the new design, which made Tropicana appear cheap when it had previously been thought of as a high-end brand.
As a result, this became one of the worst brand packagings flops ever. Within a month of rebranding, the firm that spent $35 million on advertising lost $20 million.
Choorma Gyan: Stick with your brand’s signature look and feel, whether it’s a particular color, logo, or other identifiers. You don’t want your company’s name to fade into obscurity. As an alternative, you may try making some minor adjustments to the design that focus on the aspects you already have. Instead of starting from scratch, make small, incremental changes to your designs.
2. When The Animal Left -Animal Planet’s Redesign Failure
It surprised Animal Planet’s loyal audience when the network debuted a brand-new logo in 2018.
Animal Planet wanted its new logo to conjure up powerful emotions related to the animal kingdom immediately. The logo was designed to elicit the fundamental drives that underpin all forms of life, including the need for safety, nourishment, companionship, and enjoyment. The logo’s horizontal “M” was meant to be eye-catching, but instead, it only stood out as odd. The logo has lost some of its punch because the globe, which was its primary identifying element, was removed.
M’s new logo looked nothing like the old one and didn’t represent the company’s values in any way. When asked to describe the new logo and the values it should represent, the animal network gave an abstract and unhelpful description.
As 2018 came to a close, Animal Planet decided to include some modern touches into its classic format. A blue elephant in mid-leap and the words “Animal Planet” in a bold black typeface make up the new logo.
The current blue emblem is an attempt to revitalize the network’s original identity by reusing the logo’s iconic elephant.
Choorma Gyan: Your brand’s ideal customers should be at the heart of all of your marketing strategies. If your intended market doesn’t connect with your message, it doesn’t matter how great your concept is. Discover in-depth who you’re writing for and what they need.
3. Wacky But Too Much – London Olympic Branding Blunder
A logo is created for each Olympic Games to act as a sort of brand identity for that year and provide the host country a chance to shine. The best Olympic logos capture the spirit of the games while also paying homage to the historical context in which they were first held. The logo, above all else, must be respectful of the traditions and ideals of the host nation.
The London Games’ official emblem is a dismal failure in practically every respect. The bright pink and yellow hues may represent an invitation to a beach party or evoke the energy and enthusiasm of the Summer Olympics. Apart from the official Olympic emblem, there is little else about the design that conjures images of the Olympic games.
Despite the fact that the design is supposed to allude to the year “2012,” the parts that spell out the year are so awkwardly positioned and formed that the intended meaning is lost.
This design has been criticized for being dated and inappropriate for the year 2012. It’s true that the 80s and 90s have made a limited comeback in design terms in mainstream culture. Although London is known as a trendy and modern destination, this design does not reflect the city’s inhabitants or their way of life. It looks equally at home in the United States or Japan.
Choorma Gyan: Creating a brand identity is all about making choices that are meaningful and in line with your business’s values, as well as capturing the spirit of your brand and the values your firm upholds.
So that’s it. Three large corporations severely botched their brand identities; some continued forward anyway, while others realized their errors and retreated. One important lesson you can draw from this is the need to consider your brand strategy and approach carefully before beginning the branding process.
Second, even the largest corporations occasionally make mistakes. Now whenever things don’t go as planned, you can console yourself by telling yourself, “well, at least I didn’t spend millions in the process” (unless you did, then panic).