Rebranding is all about renewal. The practice has been widespread throughout the business community for decades, although major branding overhauls on the scale of, say, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s 1991 switch to “KFC” have been few and far between in recent years. That all seems to be changing, with https://www.inc.com/branding-identity even going as far as saying that 2019 is officially “the year of the rebrand”.
A number of the most well-known and dynamic companies on the planet have undergone significant facelifts in the past 12 months, partly driven by a renewed focus on user experience (UX) and design that has gripped the tech sector especially hard. In case you missed them, here are the most dramatic brand overhauls of the past year.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic rebrands of 2018 was that of Mexican fast food chain Taco Bell. As part of their masterplan to become a $15 billion company by 2022, consultants were given free rein to completely overhaul the look and feel of the company. Their new logo has more of a sleek hipster look, while hundreds of their brand locations have received makeovers in order to become “cantinas” rather than diners.
This one was more of a blink and you’ll miss it kind of rebrand. The global taxi app Uber actually underwent their first major rebrand back in 2016, but this went down so poorly with focus groups and customer reviews that they decided to change tack mid-2018. The logo changes are subtle, replacing the previous font with a custom-made sans-serif which more closely resembles their very first logo. Changes were also made to the app to make it easier to navigate.
Paddy Power Betfair
This one is still hot off the press. Global iGaming platform Paddy Power Betfair, which offers sports betting options as well as the online slots, poker, and blackjack games you can see at https://casino.betfair.com/c/blackjack, recently announced their first major rebrand since their merger back in 2015. Pending shareholder approval, the brand will soon be renamed as Flutter Entertainment, in an apparent nod to the company’s history, given that Betfair once bought out a company called Flutter.
Weight Watchers has been working harder than pretty much everyone else over the past year. Their rebrand has been both digital and physical, with the company going for an entirely new look and feel as they continue their push into the millennial and Gen Z marketplace. The company has gone for the minimalist aesthetic and is now known solely as “WW”, while their new tag line is “wellness that works”. Their spokesperson Oprah Winfrey debuted the rebrand back in September 2018, following months of consultations.
The UK Government
Although not quite a company per se, this one deserves a mention given as it might just be the most significant public sector rebrand in recent history. As part of the British government’s stated ambitions to go digital and improve accessibility, they have hired a raft of digital designers and consultants to completely change their online presence, which you can marvel at here: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved. The Houses of Parliament has been renamed as “UK Parliament” and their key web sections have been divided into delightfully colourful and on-trend slide sections that look like they have been copied straight out of Refinery29.
If 2019 truly is the year of the rebrand, we can expect a lot more of this to come. Make sure to watch this space for any major future developments.