Rebrands Gone Wrong

The allure of a rebrand can be hard to resist, especially around the new year. It can feel like the perfect opportunity to clear the slate and begin again, refreshed and rejuvenated. Yet rebranding is often the cause of stress and turmoil. It requires time, effort, and resources, and in the end, it can end up costing you as much as you put into it. In this post, we’ll explore how two major rebrands took a wrong turn—making history for all the wrong reasons.

The Two-Month Brand

In January of 2009 Tropicana announced the rebrand of its Pure Premium Orange Juice as “a historic integrated marketing and advertising campaign” that would “rejuvenate the category.” Less than two months later, the company pulled the newly branded packaging off the shelves. What happened?

Consumer response to the historic campaign was abysmal. Unit sales of Pure Premium juice fell 20%, costing Tropicana $33 million. Yes, you read that correctly. In addition to the cost of crafting the new campaign and scrapping all of the new packaging, Tropicana also lost $33 million in sales. To make matters worse, several of Tropicana’s competitors saw “double-digit unit sales increases” during the same period… Yikes.

The One-Week Logo

As CNN Money puts it, “A new logo is a gamble. It can brighten up a company’s image — or enrage loyal customers.” Unfortunately for the iconic retailer Gap, its new logo launched in 2010 did more than just enrage customers. It spurred a national debate around branding, and it hit the company’s bottom line. Thanks to the swift (and biting) criticism across social media and the blogosphere, the company moved quickly to correct the situation. Just one week after unveiling the new logo, Gap reverted back to its original logo.

It’s now nine years later, and the Gap debacle (“Gapgate”) is still remembered as one of the worst rebrands in modern marketing history.

Key Takeaways

If nothing else, this post should lead you to approach rebranding with caution. The more established your business is, the more you stand to lose should your rebrand go awry. The best way to safeguard your business during an important transition is to hire a team of professionals. Diace Designs has the experts you need when crafting or revamping your business image. If you’re ready for a rebrand, let us know. We got this.


About Kara Franco
Kara writes copy that speaks. She has a knack for creating clear, compelling messages without wasting words. She is passionate about digital marketing and believes that copy is the cornerstone of user experience.

Copywriter + Content Strategist
Kara@diacedesigns.com