Even huge companies can get it wrong when it comes to rebranding: Jude Turner

There have been several rebrands recently that have made headlines and not for the right reasons. One recent example that stood out was Johnson & Johnson’s choice to massively simplify and change its legacy logo.

Although the new design is meant to reflect the business's focus on pharma and medical technology, in the rebrand the company has disconnected from its rich history in healthcare.

The modernised logo presents a more contemporary image, but is this what’s most important?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the healthcare sector, surely conveying the values of trust and humanity should be the primary concern, which is what the previous logo – conveyed via its heritage and familiarity.

Jude Turner shares her expert insightJude Turner shares her expert insight
Jude Turner shares her expert insight

In a similar vein Elon Musk’s rebrand of Twitter as ‘X’ last year got everyone’s attention, but not in a positive way.

By changing its well-known name and losing its instantly-recognisable blue bird icon, in one swift swoop Musk trashed Twitter’s brand equity, and people weren’t happy.

Poorly considered rebrands are nothing new though. In 1998, Kellogg's tried to rebrand the breakfast cereal Coco Pops as ‘Choco Krispies’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The change was meant to align the brand with other countries, but Kellogg's hadn’t realised how strongly the UK felt about the famous jingle!

Adding the extra syllable to the popular “we’d rather have a bowl of Coco Pops” sounded terrible, and after an overwhelming 92 per cent of consumers said they didn’t like it, they were forced to change it back.

These kinds of mistakes can usually be avoided though, and when such big budgets are allocated to these rebrands, you’d think the decision-makers would have the presence of mind to invest a bit more in effective research before they commit and launch changes - especially with brands that already have strong brand equity.

However, it's not just big brands that can benefit from this kind of work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

New businesses and SMEs can also improve their chances of success by first considering and understanding their sector, customers, and positioning.

As marketplaces become more crowded and competition gets ever more intense, having a brand that speaks to and aligns with your desired audiences is more important than ever.

But this definitely goes deeper than the name of your brand or the appearance of your logo.

Firstly, conducting brand research to understand your position in the market, as well as your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will give you invaluable insights so you can better understand your customers and competitors.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Focused brand workshops are then a fantastic way to get to grips with your brand's values, vision, and personality.

I’ve seen commitment and investment in this type of work change the game for countless brands and businesses of all sizes.

It creates a genuine focus that helps inform effective brand visuals, but also a solid marketing plan - to ensure a brand’s appearance, creative output, and content hits its intended mark.

Jude Turner is Managing Director of Thursday Three

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.