When rebrands go wrong - Royal Mail's 'duffer', Gap's 6-day turnaround, Hershey's 'poo emoji' and more

This month Hershey's unveiled a new brand identity that was meant to bring the confectionery company into the 21st Century, what it saw as a 'modern' new look other saw something "just some blinking eyes away from being a poo emoji".

A mere two months after Airbnb was criticised for its new look The Drum takes a look at some more controversial logo and rebranding decisions.

Airbnb

When Airbnb unveiled its new logo in July the holiday rental service took some flak from the public with people likening the brand mark to everything from an Automation Anywhere rip-off to a vagina or a scrotum.

Created by London-based design firm Design Studio, co-founder Ben Wright told The Drum at the time of its launch “a brand transformation of this scale for a company this size is a big deal – and it will always inspire debate and get people talking”.

Gap

Christmas 2010 saw American clothing brand Gap launch a new logo with no warning, ditching its old look after 20 years.

The new logo – the word Gap in a bold font and a square, fading from light blue to dark blue, was later to revealed to have been part of a crowd sourcing project that would allow Gap to “reinvent the company”.

After just six days the brand revoked the new look at an estimated cost of $100m.

Hershey's

The internet was abuzz when 120-year-old confectionary brand Hershey’s revealed its new logo last week, and not in a good way.

The updated look saw Hershey’s employ a simpler and more modern flat design, but social media users decided it looked more like a certain emoji.

Mike Wege, chief growth and marketing officer at Hershey, has since tried to draw attention back to the brand’s “amazing portfolio of iconic brands in confectionery and snacking” calling the new identity “an expression of our progression to a modern, innovative company”.

Royal Mail ((Consignia)

Who can forget January 2001 when Royal Mail announced it would be rebranding as Consignia and we all collectively asked ‘Consigni-what?’

At a cost of £1.5m to launch the new brand was deemed too long and too fussy with BBC News calling it a “duffer” and a “howling waste of money”.

Little over a year later Royal Mail saw sense and reverted back to the original name and branding spending another £1m in the process.

Dirty Bird

Not so much of a rebrand but another controversial logo design from this year was UK-based catering company Dirty Bird Fried Chicken whose logo, depending on your frame of mind, is either a rooster or a giant penis.

Logo designer Mark James insists it was the former, claiming the brand mark is merely a lowercase ‘d’ and ‘b’ linked together to form the shape of a rooster. Company owner Neil Young also insisted it was nothing more than a cockerel, it's just all in our dirty minds.

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