Coming face-to-face with the risks of rebranding

When undertaking a rebranding process, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks of rebranding and plan for solutions in case any issues arise.

What can rebranding do?

The best branding are those that become a part of our day-to-day lives.

The transformation of product names into general terms, such as “Hoover” for vacuum cleaner, “Googling” for searching a query online, and “Crock-Pot” for slow cooking of food, are all examples of product names transforming into a general term. This even happens when referring to competitors. That’s the end goal of your brand reboot and you can achieve it if your campaign is executed perfectly. But before you get ahead of yourself, here are some rebrand risks that could turn any advertising campaign on its head.

Rebranding a company can be a risky undertaking. It has the potential to bring about a significant positive change and attract new customers. However, it can also potentially alienate pre-existing customers and lead to total failure if not executed well. The risks of rebranding a company can be considerable and it is important to consider them all before making the decision.

What could possibly go wrong?

Making a huge transition from an old design to a new one can be too unnerving for some people. You want to maintain a sense of familiarity within the colours, iconography, and overall messaging so that older customers can still recognise you. Also, it’s essential to capture the attention of a new customer base. You don’t want to change too much that you need to start building up a brand identity from scratch. Instead, you want to create branding that is able to bring your pre-established audience into the new era, while also appearing inviting to new potential customers.

Customer Service

In addition to these risks of rebranding, there is also the potential for customer service to suffer during the rebranding process. It is important for companies to effectively communicate any changes to their branding to customers, to avoid confusion or frustration. It is essential to ensure that customers have a clear grasp of the reasoning behind the rebranding, and that communication between stakeholders is effective. To mitigate this risk, it is important to ensure that customer service is a priority during the rebranding process, and to provide customers with clear information about the changes that are taking place.

Bad Designs

Creating a convoluted design can also cause some rebrand issues to watch out for. A clashing colour scheme, undecipherable font choices and logos akin to a burning bag of rubbish (only slightly more repulsive) are all worst-case scenarios. In 2002, finance firm ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) received a new coat of paint, changing its name to ‘Monday’. The choice of Monday as their new name came from the idea of having a fresh start. A sense of newness and opportunity was the aim of this effort. Audiences, however, thought that the name of this failed rebrand didn’t reflect what PwC did best. Its design had lost the sense of prestigiousness the previous one had, and it had negative connotations internationally.

In Germany, ‘Monday’ has connotations with poor quality. When it comes to car production, many people believe that the quality of vehicles manufactured on Mondays is lower due to a decrease in worker productivity following the weekend. This has become known as the “Monday cars” phenomenon.

On the B2C side of things, in 2009, juice company, Tropicana, rebranded. Consumers’ response to the recent revamp of the packaging for this product was overwhelmingly negative. Why was this? Many people had a strong emotional connection with the brand. Unfortunately, the new packaging felt like it removed lots of the character that made the original design so recognisable. The generic image of a glass of orange juice looks like it could be the design of any juice brand. What was there before? An orange with a straw poking out.

The modern design of the product fails to effectively communicate its freshness and quality to its target audience. As such, it loses the essence of both the product and brand. This is because the modern design does not create the same emotional connection as the original design did. It also fails to communicate what it originally set out to do. Additionally, the modern design fails to draw consumers in with luxury or quality. This can change how people view the product and their view of the branding.

It’s important to note that in certain cases, rebrands aren’t just criticised for bad visuals and the mental gymnastics required for the reasoning behind them. It’s because they also failed to accurately represent the brands they were meant to promote.


These failings can be attributed to not having a full understanding of your brands positioning. Before diving into a rebrand, it is essential to gather opinions and thoughts about your brand. Polls, surveys, reviews and focus groups are all forms of customer feedback that should be used in order to guarantee that your rebrand effectively captures all audiences. Our B2B rebrand guide contains plenty of useful tactics. These can assist in elevating your identity the next time things need shaking up, all while avoiding the mistakes made by others in the past.


Written by

Paul Grogan

Creative Director

Award winning, and self-confessed typographic and graphic design perfectionist, Paul has 26 years experience in the industry and is our managing and creative director.

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