IHOP or IHOB? And 5 Other Rebranding Fails

June 21, 2018

All of the recent buzz surrounding IHOP’s name change to IHOB in an effort to promote their new burgers, has left some people confused. I think we can all remember strictly going to IHOP for their tasty, but not so healthy, breakfast. The fluffy pancakes and greasy hash browns are always a great go-to. But who are we to say that the switch to IHOB is a bad move? It seems to have people talking and even possibly ordering their new menu items. This change-up has us taking a look back at other companies that have felt the pressure to fix an identity that didn’t really need to be fixed. Here are five brands that, in our opinion, should have been left alone.

Gap’s logo has been around since I can remember. It has always seemed like such a simple design that customers could recognize immediately. In 2010, Gap decided to change its logo by making the blue box that encapsulates the letters to be just above the P. Customers reacted to the decision on social media, calling for the original logo to be restored. After one-week, GAP listened to its customers and scrapped the new logo for the original. This was not just a rebranding fail but an utter waste of money that ended up costing the clothing retailer $100 million.
Seattle’s Best Coffee:

In 2010, Seattle’s Best Coffee was heavily criticized when they decided to change their logo. The original logo was said to have a vintage coffee appeal which attracted customers. With the new design came heavy criticism, especially over social media. Customers were comparing the new logo of something that would be used for a blood drive. I don’t think customers want to imagine blood while they drink their coffee, but to each their own.
Diet Dr. Pepper:

This one is truly a headscratcher. In an effort to sell more soda with less calories to exclusively men, Dr. Pepper decided to start out by stating that Dr. Pepper 10 had 10 MANLEY calories. They built upon this by airing television commercials stating the Dr. Pepper 10 is “NOT FOR WOMAN” and created a flash game on their website where users could shoot symbols of femininity. This was truly a bizarre stunt as Dr. Pepper alienated their female consumer’s tremendously. Just imagine the backlash on this one.
Cardiff City Blue Birds:

When new owner Vincent Tan took over the Cardiff City Bluebirds, he decided to make some changes. He first decided to change the original bluebird logo to a red welsh dragon. He then changed the team’s kits to red as well. So, did he change the team’s name to the Red Dragons too? No, he decided to keep the name Bluebirds and added a small bluebird below the red dragon. Not only was this rebranding tactic confusing, they spent 100 million euro during the process.
Radio Shack:

It’s no secret that Radio Shack has struggled to compete with larger electronic retailers over the years. In an effort to seem “hip”, Radio Shack launched a massive campaign where they were now referring to themselves as “The Shack”. Not only was the name boring, but who would want to purchase electronics from a retailer called “The Shack”? Customers were disappointed when they realized that the products offered, and the internal brand, would not be changing. This tactic seemed like a way to get people into their stores but failed when customers realized that it was the same old Radio Shack.
So what do you think about the IHOP/IHOB debate? While were still waiting to see how this all plays out, we can always turn to social media to gauge consumer reaction. This only goes to show the importance of brand reputation management, and how powerful social media can actually be.

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