These Common Mistakes Can Doom Your Rebrand

Does the thought of rebranding your organization make you break out in a cold sweat? There's good reason for that: it's a risky endeavor. Many have done it—without the proper planning or design team in place—to unfortunate results. But with the right strategy, a rebrand could be just what your company needs.

So what could go wrong?

Trying Too Hard

One of the worst ways a rebrand can go south is by attempting to modernize in an inauthentic, unresearched way. When an organization attempts to look cool but really shows themselves to be out of touch, the public is going to point and laugh. Consumers are hyper-sensitive to anything that feels like a forced marketing ploy and everyone wants to be the first to call that out. In the age of Twitter, no rebrand goes unnoticed or un-mocked.


Another potential misstep is when brands take an iconic logo and trade it in for something ultra-minimalistic. Particularly if the original iteration of the brand was beloved by consumers, this shift can make people feel as though the product they know and love has changed. Customers form an emotional attachment to many brands, especially those that have existed over multiple generations. They may feel nostalgic about the way their favorite foods were packaged as a child and feel disappointed (betrayed, even!) when their appearance changes too radically.

Distractingly Abstract

Legibility and recognizability will always be more important to a brand than artistic flair. Designers (particularly ones with less experience) can sometimes become enamored with their work and create designs that favors cleverness or originality over readability. Abstract design can be edgy and eye-catching, but it shouldn't overshadow the ultimate goal of supporting a brand and making it memorable to the public.

Too Subtle

Rebranding is a statement that something about your organization has changed, shifted, hopefully improved. If your new logo is so subtle that consumers may not even notice the difference, then the investment in rebranding isn't really worth it. 

The risks of rebranding are numerous, but the rewards definitely outweigh them. When done for the right reasons, a rebrand can save a failing organization. When embarking on the rebranding process, keep an eye out for problems like these cropping up in the early phases of brainstorming and concepting. These issues can originate from the design team or on the organization's end, but if you share these concerns with the entire group you'll all be more likely to avoid these rebranding pitfalls.

At DBC, we’ve developed a free guide to rebranding that will help you find the answers you need before you commit to the proccess. You can get your copy of The Rebrand Plan here. Print multiple copies and distribute it to your team. The answers will help you assemble a clearer picture of how the rebrand process can work for you.