We spend a lot of time looking at examples of excellent branding, from the iconic Nike swoosh to the instantly recognisable Coca-Cola typography. Today we thought we would take a look at some of the world’s most epic branding fails – and learn from them! Get ready to cringe…
Imagine spending $100 million on a new logo and then having to revert back to your previous design almost immediately? Well, this happened to Gap. During Christmas 2010, Gap thought it a good idea to launch a new logo and completely rebrand their company to boot. The problem? Gap did this without warning anyone. One day, out of nowhere, Gap went from recognisable to just confusing. The new logo was made up of a bold font (reminiscent of WordArt), with a misplaced square that faded diagonally from light to dark blue. Then came the backlash, which was almost immediate.
The design was mocked in design communities and slated online. The internet was abuzz with jokes aimed at the branding fail, and it quickly became clear that the logo was not going to be accepted by the consumers. So Gap reacted, and they reacted fast! Just a mere six days after the new logo was introduced to the public, it was taken down and replaced with the previous logo. Moral of the story: Make sure you understand your customer, get their input and cater to their requirements. Don’t just swing a rebrand on them…
Ever heard of Qwikster? Nope? There is a reason you haven’t. Netflix had no chill when they decided to launch a subsidiary company for live streaming their library of DVDs. The problem? The consumer found this idea too complex and the live streaming option greatly increased the package prices of the brand. This resulted in a stock drop of almost 80% and a massive drop in subscribers.
A brand that was all about ease and affordability had just given their target market everything but that! The lesson from this? As per above, screen your audience, understand their needs and keep your brand consistent at all times.
Colgate is a toothpaste brand, simple as that. As soon as a person sees the Colgate logo they associate it with oral hygiene, and of course, the taste of toothpaste. Colgate thought it a good idea to launch their very own food product. This seemed like a cool idea but the biggest problem was the fact that they splashed their logo across the food packaging. At least come up with a new logo for this business venture!
Colgate’s massive fail was trying to branch out into pre-packaged meals using the exact same logo plastered across their oral hygiene products. Think about it… people were immediately turned off by the thought of ‘toothpaste’ being mixed into their food. Yes, of course this wasn’t the case, but it’s what is immediately thought of when one sees food and the Colgate logo. Needless to say, this product launch failed.
Pepsi introduced their new product, Pepsi Max, onto the market by making use of a series of illustrations. Sounds awesome right? It wasn’t. One of the illustrations used was that of an obese man holding a Pepsi Max can. Seriously? The one thing people complain about when it comes to cool-drinks is the sugar content and the health problems associated with soda pops. Oh and another thing, the campaigns slogan was “more energy,” could the brand have created a more confusing, almost ironic advert? The lesson?
Make sure your brand is managed correctly and that your print marketing and digital marketing campaigns correspond correctly with your product message.
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