The Most Unnecessary Brand Redesigns

The Most Unnecessary Brand Redesigns

Redesigning an established brand and its associated iconography is an exceptionally difficult process at times, and should typically be approached as a way to make your iconography better reflect the business as it is now, much like how the original branding reflected the business as it was.

There are many excellent examples of this, such as Apple’s wonderful shift from a bright, vivid spectrum of colours to a simple, infinitely adaptable design that perfectly suited the minimalist “Think Different” mindset.

Alongside these, however, are redesigns that are unnecessary, either because they change very little, no longer effectively represent a brand or are so badly received that the changes are reversed very quickly.

Here are some notable examples.


The curious case of Tropicana’s rebrand is that fundamentally they did not make any egregious mistake. They opted to simplify the design, change the logo to a more modern typeset and rely more heavily on negative space.

The problem was that they lost a lot of their distinctiveness, which meant that many people did not even recognise Tropicana products, instead buying other brands of juice that often more closely resembled the original cartons.

Ultimately, after an unfathomable 20 per cent reduction in sales, Tropicana reversed course.


The Sci-Fi Channel is a television channel that is entirely as advertised, providing a range of genre shows in fantasy, science fiction and other speculative and supernatural genres.

However, in 2009, the channel underwent a significant rebrand to SyFy, a more generic name that could be trademarked. However, the backlash was immediate and intense, with people deliberately mispronouncing it as “Si-Fee”.

This, alongside the channel’s positioning away from genre television, led to a reduction in audience share and repeated attempts in the years since to change the logo and programming lineup to make it more in line with the channel’s original aims.


Unnecessary rebrands either have no effect or cause a negative effect, depending on how established the original identity was. Pepsi’s controversial rebrand in 2009 was negatively received but ultimately has been kept ever since.

Part of the reason why is that Pepsi, unlike arch rivals Coca-Cola, have not had a long-term identity, and its logo designs have repeatedly changed over the years.

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