What is a Brand? Even though you can’t hold it in your hand, it sometimes represents most of the value of a company. And without a consistent, solid brand, a company’s growth will be compromised. Also, a brand is much more than an image or logo. Moreover, a brand encompasses a businesses vision, mission and ethos. So, if a company wants to build a brand, it has to consider much more than just the aesthetics. Ultimately, brands persuade people to buy more, for a longer time, and at higher prices. If you visually rebrand without addressing vital issues such as brand, messaging, perception, and positioning, you will struggle to deliver on your brand promise. The following are three examples of large, formally successful companies that failed to go beyond brand aesthetics when implementing a new branding design.
RadioShack’s Failed Branding Design
In 2008 RadioShack tried to evolve by shaking off the shackles of their association with old radio electronics. Moreover, they wanted to position themselves as premium suppliers of wireless tech and capture the more tech-savvy customers. So, they decided on ‘The Shack’.
They considered this new name an endearing nickname. Unfortunately, technology tech reviews thought the new brand was funny. It just didn’t say high-tech to them. Also, it turns out that loyal customers didn’t call it The Shack anyway. Finally, the new logo displayed, ‘Radio Shack: The Shack’, which confused everybody. Essentially, the execution was poor, and it just didn’t make the leap into the 21st century. Consequently, The Shack filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after losing millions and most of its customer base.
McDermott International, Inc.
In May of 2018, McDermott International merged with Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. The objective was to create a “fully integrated provider of technology, engineering and construction solutions for the energy industry.” The new venture was named McDermott. This affected taking away their international image and failing to capitalise on any goodwill and kudos provided by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company brand. Incredibly, by 2020 they had filed for bankruptcy. In short, McDermott rushed into the rebrand and merger without thoroughly examining the impact to the stakeholders and the actual business compatibilities.
The Sad Demise of Sears
Sears was the largest retailer in the United States throughout the 1980s. But, at the turn of the century, their revenues began dropping, so they decided a new branding design would help rescue them. However, instead of helping, they made the situation worse by producing an ill-thought-out logo graphic that actually looks more like AirBnB’s logo! Consequently, the rebrand fell flat, and it failed to entice new customers. Today, Sears owns just 180 stores, down from 3500 during their peak.