Global brands are more than just a website that is accessible from anywhere in the world. To be successful, they require understanding various culture norms, universal customer buying habits and global positioning. The competition is different in every country, not everything translates as it should do and regional market demands can be vastly different. Successfully branding a global brand one thing, but how do you go about rebranding one?

 

Each and every customer from regionally different marketplaces will have a preconceived value and expectation about an existing global brand. They will have interacted with it in some way – whether that’s through physical purchase, advertising or mediums like social media.

 

Let’s look at three different examples of global brands who have tackled rebranding on a global scale.

 

One that didn’t work: Gap

Back in 2010, Gap launched a new logo design and rebranded the entire company. The new logo, pictured above, was changed without any kind of warning – the original Gap logo had been used for more than 20 years. The new logo was a weak effort in comparison to the original staple. The new faded window didn’t do much for the wider design community, nor Gap’s customers. The internet exploded with activity, with plenty of criticism emerging on social media as well as other media channels.

 

Gap responded to the criticism in earnest. They said the new logo was a product of a crowdsourcing project. The crowdsourcing method had given them, they said, the opportunity to reinvent the company quickly.

 

Unfortunately, the criticism was so hard that Gap reverted back to their original logo just six days after unveiling their new one.

Cost: It was estimated the rebrand cost Gap $100 million.

 

One that worked: Google

Since its conception, Google has been strikingly simple with its branding. Often quite quirky, the multicoloured logo has sat historically above the search input bar, surrounded by white. Users now engage with Google through multiple devices but Google has approached this complexity by keeping the branding simple – and always identifiable. The Google brand has somewhat evolved over the years; it was quite cartoon-like a few of years ago but now it’s clean and fresh. Importantly, the simplicity of it has remained the same. The colours have become iconic.

 

It works in Google’s favour that their homepage is now constantly changing. Now known for offering users historical and cultural insights through mini games, images and cartoons that sit just above the search bar encapsulates this part of Google’s culture. Change drives them forward.

 

Jury is out, time will tell: Premier League

This summer, the Premier League is set to drop it’s much-loved, standing lion logo. It announced this news not long ago and already skepticism has started. This rebrand is imminent ahead of this year being the first year for the league to go ahead without a title sponsor – no longer Barclays. For over two decades, the crowned lion was a prominent feature of the Premier League brand – appearing on almost every facet of the product line.

 

Fans have met the news with sadness. But this is usually what happens when a beloved, and traditional, part of a brand gets changed. The Premier League will have its work cut out in making sure that their brand remains strong and doesn’t take a backward step.