Change of hair, change of life, isn’t it?


It doesn’t just apply to broke hearts, brands do it since ever!

Brands are born and then evolve into society as integral parts of the social system. Sooner or later it comes the time to change, but change is not always a synonym of success and progress.

There are a lot of case histories that mark big flops, not only economically, but also to the brand image, brand attachment and brand sentiment.

Here are some examples that we analyzed to collect advices on how a brand should move in the right way if it wants to change. 

Flop🤕

Between the past flop cases we must quote Tropicana, Gap and Coca Cola (yep, that’s right, big brands).

Even if these brands come from different areas, there is a first fundamental aspect that they share and that took them to failure: a lack of strategy for every detail. A change of look has to take care of the taste, the preferences and the characteristics of the customers!

TROPICANA

In fact Tropicana took the biggest according to the consumer’s taste.

They were so fond of their iconic orange juice with drinking straw that the changes made by the brand, even if really nice to see, were not so loved. After a while the brand decided to use the original packaging and logo, to take back to the consumer’ minds and hearts their famous products.

GAP

Gap did a rebranding to make the logo look more contemporary, wanting to look avant garde. So they changed the graphics of the logo, erasing the blue Gap box and positioning it behind the brand name. In this way gap removed its most distinctive visual sign and changed the whole identity of the brand. This and the font change, has displaced the consumers so much that they convinced Gap to use its old look, just as Tropicana did.

COCA-COLA

Proving that even the bests can do it wrong, here is the Coca Cola example.

After doing some blind tests on some consumers that seemed to prefer the taste of Pepsi more than Coca-Cola, the US multinational chose to bring on the market the “new Coke”, that tasted sweeter than the original Coca-Cola.

After a first moment of appreciation, the consumers started to feel less that affective connection that they shared with the brand, some people felt it so much that they even talked about a boycott from the brand.

After this failed change of look, Coca-Cola restored the original version of its product.

A real interesting thing is that the New Coke became a super famous product in 2019. How? Thanks to its appearance into the “Stranger Things” TV series, it was even sold as a limited edition!

Win-Win 🤩

You need a lot of time to build a brand reputation, but so little to destroy it. This means that you can change, but to do it in the right way you need a defined strategy behind. Analyze the market, set your goals, your target and your competitors first.

NIKE

Just think about Nike that during the past years has built a great recognizability thanks to its famous “swoosh” that today is the only element that we see in the last collections. That happens because the brand triggered into the consumer’s minds such a strong connection between the graphics and the logo, that the brand name is not needed anymore to recognize the brand.

BARILLA

Barilla changed its iconic packaging with a plastic window, maintaining its high recognizability. In this case the change was made for a superior good and for a greater goal: sustainability.

But this was not the only change made by Barilla, that recently has even modified its logo removing the white oval near the red one, re-called an egg shape, big element of quality of Barilla. The logo in the actual version is surrounded only by a red oval shape, more sophisticated and calm, with the foundation data of the brand well in sight, to call the historicity and the italianity of the brand. So, after a double change and double risk took from the Italian society, the brand image remained well seen and intact for the consumer’s eyes.

Barilla felt an urgency, but also simplified the packaging’s recycle for the consumers, that now do not need to separate the plastic from the paper.

BURGER KING

Another successful case was Burger King with its rebranding made in the 2021. 

Undoubtedly you can see as the urgency of the brand was to change the classic logo, but also to communicate the improvements in the quality of the food and the removal of some harmful substances from the foods. Result? A modern logo, digital-friendly, minimal, but faithful to the tradition and to the original aesthetics, escorted by other communication changes, like the ads and the fonts, more in line with the personality of the brand that should be bold and uncommon. 

How to do it?

Usually changing only because others are, is not the right path to follow. Sometimes you might already be in the right place, not needing to direct your efforts through a bigger customer’ satisfaction in terms of quality of services and products.

There is no rule or perfect recipe that fits for anyone, but if you think it’s time to change your brand, study and analyze your situation and your consumers first, then proceed step by step.