How NOT To Revamp Your Brand This Holiday Season

By Raquel Addams , Dec 12 2014
Revamp Your Brand

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How brands normally do it: embrace the Christmas theme with zest and spirit, deck out the site with a cheesy countdown widget. Don a model or two in that perfect Santa suit, drop a few ice flakes and bingo, you’ve rebranded for the holiday season! If only they could put in some effort, the festive themed rebranding can actually work wonders for the brand. There are creative ways to communicate the festive theme while staying subtle. Unfortunately most brands fail to realize the purpose.

Christmas is the time of the year when small businesses can leverage the festive opportunities and use it to increase their sales. However, this is a crucial decision. Some last minute Christmas promotional tactics can backfire if they are not planned sensibly. Sometimes, the rebranding to stay in festive theme is only applied to the website, or the logo, or the packaging but at times brands go all the way and take a holistic approach to rebrand for the holiday season. Following in their footsteps, some small business owners feel this urge to rebrand their business that is not much recognized. Let’s cast a glance at some of the rebranding failures for the holiday season that small business owners should strictly avoid.

Website Redesign

When a brand undergoes redesign, web theme will be its priority if most of the traffic is coming from online sources. But what if this is not the case. What if the number of online sales and visitors is greatly limited? Will the festive theme work? And who is to say it won’t be a backlash for some newly emerging business? Here’s how not to rebrand your business.

• How Not to Revamp: Virgin Experience Days

Now here’s another website that went all red in Christmas, but I would say all that is bearable in front of those awkward horns on “V”. This is a clear example of too much experimenting with the logo. Unless you own a toy store, this kind of rebranding will always be rejected.

How Not to Revamp Virgin Experience Days
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• How to Revamp: Lizi’s Granola

Lizi’s Granola is the perfect example of an emerging brand that applied a festive theme. Though the brand has been quite successful locally, it seems that now it intends to go universal and their web design is a clear example. First of all, the background has a light theme that does not compromise the visibility of the home page. If your business is not a household name yet, then this is the type of rebranding you should adopt.

How to Revamp Lizis Granola
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Packaging Redesign

If you put Santa on the packaging, does that means your product will sell more? The big brands do it to give a more personalized touch and basically for customer retention. Since an amateur brand lacks recognition, it’s not a good idea to change the packaging design theme so early.

• How Not to Rebrand: Warbutons

Warbutons are the finest bakers from England. Besides spreading unique aromas, they are famous for their unique packaging. However, like most brands, they fail to realize that overdoing the packaging design will leave a negative impact on the brand. Since it’s a limited time packaging design, people will hardly register the change before it leaves the market.

How Not to Rebrand Warbutons
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• How to Rebrand: Starbucks

The lavish coffee brand went out of their way to spend on redesigning the packaging. The visual appeal speaks louder than ever and promotes the brand identity in a good way but this is something small business owners should strictly avoid. The limited time packaging is both uneconomical and impractical for a start-up brand that is struggling to get their name registered in the minds of their audience.

How to Rebrand Starbucks

Logo Redesign

When it comes to rebranding during the holiday season, logos appear to be the most experimented domain. Tweaking the logos every now and then is potentially disastrous for even the most popular brands. Just imagine the amount of risk a small business can incur by changing the logo for a brief period.

• How Not to Redesign: Educents

Educents used the same old clichéd hat over the first letter of the logo. Obviously, this rebranding strategy has been tried and tested multiple times. When this idea was introduced for the first time, it was appreciated but now it’s considered redundant. Besides, the cap does not really complement the small “e’ of educents.

How Not to Redesign Educents

• How to Redesign: Joomlart

Joomlart is a one-stop resource for Joomla templates. When they redesigned their logo for Christmas, there was just one subtle change to capture the viewer’s attention. The letter “L” was animated to look like a sock. Everything else is kept constant so that the change can blend in without appearing excessive.

How to Redesign Joomlart
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Greeting Card Redesign

Most organizations send out their greeting cards on Christmas but very few designs are worth noticing. All others just follow the trends. Some companies send out their greeting cards on email as well but they almost completely redesign their brand theme to add Christmas elements. Check out the examples for how not to and how to redesign your brand image for greeting cards.

• How Not to Redesign: M&C Saatchi Mobile

M&C Saatchi Mobile is an emerging advertising agency and this shows in their Christmas card design. Again, the use of redundant elements is a big turnoff. Besides, they have totally given up their original brand theme to accommodate Christmas theme.

How Not to Redesign M&C Saatchi Mobile
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How to Redesign: Integrated Effluent Solutions

Who says a waste water management system can lack the sense of design. When Effluent Solutions created the Christmas Greeting cards for their staff and clients, they used their innate theme. This is a must-check design for people searching for elusive ideas to blend Christmas theme with the brands original design. There is so much we can do without over-doing the festive theme.

How to Redesign Integrated Effluent solutions
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Brochure Redesign

Whether you are a start-up business or have been around for years, the clients expect professional brochures no matter what event you are catering to. Stated below are the two examples of brochure design for Christmas. One is slightly messed up while the other is spot on. Take a look!

• How Not to Redesign: Dovecliff Hall Hotel

When Dovecliff Hall Hotel, the country house hotel near Derby created a brochure for Christmas, their design was too vibrant to be real. It’s true the color theme is festive, but the excessive shine makes it unnatural. Such a design can only be a disaster in print. They need to do serious thinking to give it an elegant touch.

How Not to Redesign Dovecliff Hall hotel
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• How to Redesign: Bellini’s Newry

Now this design shows how restaurants and event hosts can remain refined when it comes to brochure design. It seems to be a well-thought layout in which the logo remains prominent. Although their natural color theme is red, the creative designers in their team opted for a totally different color scheme.

How to Redesign Bellinis Newry
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A word of caution to small business owners: Guys don’t stretch it too far. A subtle effect can sometimes do the trick. You don’t always have to bring in Christmas trees, Santa’s beard and caps to create the effect.

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Raquel Addams is a professional blogger and graphic design enthusiast who employs a unique combination of journalism, communication design and marketing strategy to help her clients to position and launch their enterprise or start-ups.


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