Business Blunders: 24 of the Most Cringe-Worthy Corporate Rebrands

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The process of adapting to a corporate rebranding effort may require some time, especially when beloved products undergo a sudden name change or familiar items are presented in entirely new packaging. While certain rebrands breathe fresh life into products, others result in consumer frustration and bewilderment. We thought back to 24 times well-known companies attempted a rebrand and fell completely flat. Which ones are on your list for the worst of all time?

1. Twitter Becoming X

Twitter
Image Credit: Twitter.inc, Apache License 2.0-Wiki Commons/X and Twitter, Public Domain-Wiki Commons.

I think you all knew this one was coming first. Why did Elon do this? Instead of the adorable and innocent little blue birdie, we now have this aggressive and cringe-worthy X logo that looks like it was designed by a 12-year-old boy who drinks too much Monster Energy. I miss the little birdie, and I miss posts being called “tweets.” Can we go back in time, please?

2. HBO Becoming Max

HBO
Image Credit: Image Credit: HBOportuguês, Home Box Office, Inc.,Warner Bros. Discovery, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

HBO made HBO Go, then changed it to HBO Max, and then changed it again to just Max. It’s unclear why HBO felt the need to rebrand their streaming app, and while the actual rebrand isn’t terrible, it forces me to re-sign into HBO on every device. Aggravating.

3. The New Pringles Guy

Pringles
Image Credit: Pringles.

The old Pringles mascot had a bowtie, hair, and a detailed mustache. I understand they wanted to simplify the logo to make it more modern, but the new Mr. P feels less friendly and inviting. This rebrand may not have been awful, but it was unnecessary.

4. Angie's List Becoming Angi

Angi
Image Credit: Angi.

In every single Angi commercial, they have to clarify at the end that they used to be Angie’s List but are now Angi. They rebranded years ago and still have to do this, so clearly, the rebrand was a failure. What was wrong with its original name?

5. ABC Family Becoming Freeform

ABC Family Freeform
Image Credit: ABC Family Worldwide Inc., Disney General Entertainment Content, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

Thank goodness they did this rebrand right, as I was growing out of watching ABC Family. Nevertheless, it still upsets me. People loved ABC Family, and no one cared that it was part of ABC, so rebranding to Freeform just seemed confusing, as nothing else about the channel changed.

6. Comcast Becoming Xfinity

Comcast Xfinity
Image Credit: Comcast, Public Domain-Wiki Commons/Xfinity, CC BY-SA 4.0-Wiki Commons.

Technically, Comcast still exists, but they rebranded their internet and TV services to Xfinity. Why? No one knows. I’m guessing it’s because people were growing tired of Comcast and looking for alternatives, so they became Xfinity to sell themselves as something different. Xfinity even used to bash Comcast in commercials, so they were bashing themselves.

7. The Sci-Fi Channel Becoming SyFy

Sci Fi Channel, SyFy
Image Credit: [1], Sky Group, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.
Again, what executive pitched this idea, and why did they think it was smart? Some viewers of this channel think they did it to seem more approachable to people who weren’t necessarily passionate about science fiction shows and movies. I don’t mind SyFy, but I doubt it lured many new viewers.

8. Gap Becoming The Gap

Gap
Image Credit: GAP.

This awful rebrand is honestly hilarious. Gap spent millions of dollars to add “The” to their brand name and switch to a sans serif font. I don’t think anyone even noticed the rebrand because it was such a small change, and they eventually abandoned the idea and reverted to the original branding anyway.

9. Pizza Hut Becoming The Hut

Pizza hut
Image Credit: Pizza Hut.

Frankly, I’ve always thought that Pizza Hut was a dumb name. Why would anyone want to order food from a hut? It sounds unhygienic. Ultimately, their failed attempt at rebranding themselves to The Hut was laughable and did not resonate with customers.

10. Sierra Mist Becoming Starry

Sierra Mist Starry
Image Credit: Sierra Mist and Starry, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Sierra Mist has always struggled in the shadow of Sprite, so they tried to rebrand as Starry. The idea was people would be enticed to try this new beverage, but that didn’t happen. If anything, Starry is even less well-known than its predecessor, Sierra Mist.

11. Facebook Becoming Meta

Facebook Meta
Image Credit: Facebook, Inc., Public Domain-Wiki Commons/Musicalartist071 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0-Wiki Commons.

Like Twitter, Facebook rebranded with a stupid name that no one likes. Even when you read news about Meta, they still refer to it as “formerly Facebook” because no one is comfortable calling it Meta. The name Facebook was iconic, and changing it was a mistake.

12. Netflix's Attempt at Qwikster

Netflix and Qwikster
Image Credit: Netflix.

This rebrand was a complete failure and lasted about three weeks. Back in the old days, when Netflix sent out DVDs, they tried to rebrand the DVD service as separate from the streaming service, calling it Qwikster. Customers were fervently opposed, and the brand abandoned the idea less than a month after launch.

13. Land Rover Becoming JLR

Landover Jaguar
Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

For some unknown reason, Land Rover ditched their name and decided to only refer to themselves as JLR, short for Jaguar/Land Rover. I’m guessing they just wanted to include Jaguar in their brand name, but it’s confused many consumers and hasn’t made a positive impact.

14. Dunkin' Donuts Becoming Dunkin'

Dunkin Donuts
Image Credit: Obandoeño12345, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

This rebrand doesn't seem significant, but loyal customers of the New England coffee brand found it jarring. Dunkin' Donuts changed their name to Dunkin' a few years ago, probably because they were colloquially known as the latter already. They also got rid of their classic coffee cup logo!

15. Weight Watchers to WW

Weight Watchers
Image Credit: Weight Watchers.

The Weight Watchers rebrand has been pretty unsuccessful, as people still call the company Weight Watchers. They likely changed the name to avoid offending anyone or creating a stigma around the company, but the rebrand to WW has been mostly ignored.

16. Kellogg's Becoming Kellanova

Kellogg Kellanova
Image Credit: Kellogg/Kellanova.

Kellogg’s is an established American brand with a rich history, and Dr. Kellogg invented cereal, creating the booming industry we know today. They’re rebranding parts of their company to Kellanova, as they want to separate specific business sectors so they can operate differently.

17. Tropicana Losing the Red Striped Straw

Tropicana, orange juice
Image Credit: Tropicana.

If you don’t drink orange juice, you probably don’t even know this happened. Tropicana’s logo once incorporated an orange garnished with a striped straw. They ditched this image to create a more minimalist and modern package design, which, funny enough, enraged some of their customers.

18. McDonald's Becoming a Gray Wasteland

McDonald’s
Image Credit: Phillip Pessar, CC BY 2.0-Wiki Commons/JGKlein – Own work, Public Domain-Wiki Commons.

McDonald’s didn’t change their name like most of the rebrands on this list, but it went from being a colorful, playful place where kids felt at home to a sad, gray restaurant chain with no soul. They probably wanted to seem more modern and mature, but they ruined the pleasant nostalgia for many people.

19. PWC Consulting Becoming Monday

PWC Monday
Image Credit: PWC/Monday.

Monday is a cloud-based work platform where people can communicate and plan. While PWC Consulting wasn’t exactly catchy, people hate the name Monday because it can make conversations confusing and inefficient. Are you referring to the system or the day of the week?

20. Kia's New NIN Logo

Kia
Image Credit: Kia.

Kia recently redid their logo, squishing the three letters closer together and opting for a more minimalist design. However, they may have made it too minimalist. Not only is it hard to recognize the brand now, but many Nine Inch Nails fans have pointed out that it is strangely reminiscent of the NIN logo.

21. Take 5's New Packaging

Take 5
Image Credit: The Hershey Company.

Take 5 used to be a delicious candy bar that was outside the mainstream, with a bold black wrapper and green lettering. Now, they look like all the other Reese’s products and are hard to distinguish. Those who always chose Take 5's in the candy aisle have been disappointed by the new look.

22. Datsun to Nissan

Datsun Nissan
Image Credit: Datsun/Nissan Motor Corporation.

Up until the ‘80s, Nissan was known as Datsun. The company made this change to establish Nissan as a stronger brand and leave behind the older models. This rebrand isn’t the worst, but some consumers were perplexed, as Datsun was a reputable and trusted name in the car industry.

23. IHOP to IHOb

IHOP, International House of Pancakes
Image Credit: International House of Pancakes.

This rebrand was only temporary, but it was still weird and unforgettable. IHOP changed its name to IHOb to let people know they now sold burgers in addition to their famous pancakes. People thought the change was silly, and some folks freaked out that the pancakes were leaving the menu.

24. Mr. Pibb Becoming Pibb Xtra

Mr. Pibb
Image Credit: Mr. Pibb/Little Tub – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

This was not just a shift from its original packaging but also a departure from its original flavor. Ultimately, the new look and the more cinnamon-forward flavor profile were a big disappointment to many Pibb enthusiasts, as they favored the original flavor and didn’t appreciate the extra spice.

Author: Veronica Booth

Title: Freelance Writer

Expertise: Food, Entertainment, Movies, TV, Fashion, Lifestyle, Celebrity

Bio:

Veronica is a food, fashion, and entertainment writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for all things lifestyle and culture. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor's in English literature. From Anna Wintour to Angelina Jolie to Alton Brown, she has her finger on the pulse of all things Hollywood and celebrity.

If she's not in the kitchen crafting new recipes, then she's binging the latest HBO series and catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue.

She has written for and been syndicated by publications like The Weather Channel, The Daily Meal, The Borgen Project, The Good Men Project, The Express, MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Not Deer Magazine. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews to homemade recipes and more.