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A fashion turnaround and a logo no-go: hits and misses of rebranding

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<span>Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters</span>
Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Facebook is planning to rebrand with a new corporate name to reflect its shift to building the metaverse, it has been reported. According to the Verge, the announcement could be made during Facebook’s Connect conference on 28 October. Here are four other companies that recently tried rebranding, and how it went.

Google/Alphabet

Google restructured under the name Alphabet in 2015. The move was embraced on Wall Street as the company’s share price immediately rose by 5%. The new corporate identity was an umbrella for a collection of businesses including the search engine.

Royal Mail/Consignia

The Royal Mail rebranded as Consignia in 2001 in an attempt to attract more corporate customers, including advertising and marketing firms, and push into overseas markets. Described by a BBC business correspondent as “a duffer” and “a howling waste of money”, the name was widely derided. Sixteen months later the company switched to the name Royal Mail Group.

Burberry

Burberry’s coats were worn by troops in the trenches in the first world war, and for decades were a big part of British culture, earning a royal warrant. Then they became associated with gang wear, one of several reasons the company faced decline. While keeping its name, Burberry hit back with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kate Moss to throw focus on a younger, aspirational customer base, and moved aggressively into the digital space, in what was hailed as one of the most successful rebrands of recent times.

Gap

Following a slump in sales after the 2008 financial crisis, Gap launched a redesign of its 20-year-old logo. Gone was the recognisable blue square box with white lettering, replaced overnight with a much smaller box and large black lettering in a different font. Such was the negative feedback that after less than a week it decided to revert to the original, in one of the quickest rebrand reversals in history.

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