26 Classic Branding Success Stories

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Last Updated on January 6th, 2021

The business world is booming today, especially the online business and all credit goes to the current pandemic. At one place, it has sunken various business organizations; on the other hand, it has given a new market to the e-commerce businesses.  Evolution helps brands stay relevant and fresh. Only by looking at the exterior representation of the brand such as packaging, logo and advertising, you can tell a lot. Comparing their previous branding iterations with the current version, you can tell what has changed and what is still the same.

Global branding is not only a translation of your website into different languages to make it more understandable and readable for people all over the world. To be successful in the international market and to have a long-lasting customer base you must associate your brand with high-quality service and provide a positive experience to them. What could be better than learning from other brands failure stories and brand success stories?

You must have been taught how you should learn from the mistakes of others, but what about the success stories? They have a lot to teach too, and I am sure you must have been tired of learning from the case studies of Apple and other big tech companies. Watching their ted-talks are inspiring for a few days, but even their essence does not stay for a long time. What in my case worked effectively is learning from the famous brand stories, their brand-building examples is what makes me want to get out of my comfort zone and try out new things for my brand.

There is no better way to learn than to take in the knowledge form more experienced brands. This year we came across various marketing techniques such as influencers, flawless email marketing campaigns, moonshot marketing plans or in some cases, shocking video content. An effective rebranding campaign includes more than a revamped logo. It demands a vision that inspires customers, investors and others to see the company in a new light.

Inspiring Rebrand Examples

Whether you are here to learn some new rebranding or marketing skills or you are only interested in knowing the journey of some brands from before and after or if you are interesting in knowing best branding examples, I have got you covered. I want to tell you all about how these diverse brands strike the exclusive balance by focusing only on their messaging, elevating their aesthetic and creating a stronger and practical brand experience. So without any further ado, let’s discuss the crazy brand stories.

1. Pepsi

Pepsi is one of the most famous soft drinks all over the world; no one in the world has not tasted this drink before and is not a crazy fan of it. Well, now that everybody today knows about this drink and how it goes best with the different snacks, I have some crazy brand history to tell you.

The founder of Pepsi-Cola Caleb Bradham made the first Pepsi logo in the script. With time, they realized how simplicity is the key to the heart of the customers; nobody wants to spend time squinting their eyes to understand what exactly is written on the logo. Therefore, they went for the brand story template, followed the minimalistic approach and adopted the two most basic colors and the font for the logo. However, the designers ensure they still retain some of the scripts like curves of the original logo.

Pepsi Logo

2. Coty

Coty’s rebranding is one of the famous brand stories and changed the whole brand identity as they put forward a purpose for the brand, which is to liberate and celebrate the diversity of beauty. While the concept of liberating the beauty is top-notch and admired by everybody, people often had a concern about how branding agency chose a butterfly to represent the diversity of beauty in people and nature.

The overall branding process included a detailed visual language featuring bright and bold image which carried the butterfly theme beautifully. The audience was in awe of how beautifully the brand had included people of all color and sizes. Moreover, they also designed the customer type Coty Sans, that consists of the “special curves reflecting the symmetry of a butterfly”.

Coty

3. Lipton Tea

All the crazy tea freaks can admit that Lipton is one of the tea brands that keeps its customers hooked onto them A) because of their exquisite tea taste and B) because of their customer-friendly branding. Earlier in 2020 there was no concept of “less is more”, initially the marketing director demanded to put in all the information on the packaging of the product.

While the Lipton tea advertisements were pretty different visually, both rely on some next level boastings. The old ad is kind of chaotic as they have included all the available information on it and followed the regular brand story ideas. On the other hand, the modern ad is designed to induce a sense of relaxation and calm because that is what Lipton does, calm and relax you, doesn’t it?

The main reason why everyone so loves the current packaging is the representation of the true essence of the brand. The packaging of the brand speaks to its customers.  

Lipton Tea

4. GLPs

Those who use GLP can know that they are famous for their lightning protection for the aerospace, wind and construction industries. As such, they are tasked with selling protection for one of the most congested and out of control phenomena of nature.

To communicate the message of the brand more clearly and aesthetically, the brand adopted some rebranding techniques and brought the power and control by focusing on the brand promise of “empowering you to take charge.”

The brand has successfully communicated its promise through its logo; all credit goes to the influential and smart graphic designers of the brand. They have sandwiched a lightning surge between clean and orderly type- a pictorial representation of their protection solutions. 

GLPS

You may also like: A Photorealistic Mockup or an Actual Logo – A Closer Look to Understand the Differences Between the Two

5. Burberry

You would be surprised to know how the famous Burberry brand has rebranded themselves and changed their reputation among their audience. Not too long ago, the renowned brand was at the risk of being outcast by its audience for obverting extended and being shabby. So much so, people even started considering it as a gang wear. It was mainly because of the famous rumor that said the brand was well-known among the hooligans.

Nevertheless, the brand could not afford to lose their audiences like that; therefore, they brought some considerable product design changes and then marketed them in the top fashion shows to show that the brand is for elite gentry and not the hooligans.

To rebrand the image of the brand. Burberry’s creative director overhauled the brand with the fusion of classic and modern looks that included a bolder trench coat and swimwear as well. They have further introduced a new simple logo to alter the perception of their audience regarding the brand. To change brand reputation, the director additionally approaches high-end celebrities like Emma Watson and Kate Moss to model for them.

Burberry Before and After Logo

6. Good Year

Good Year logo has not undergone much of the changes, yet they have been pretty good in branding. The Goodyear logo has walked its way right through the last century and survived effectively. Without any significant alterations to the color and font and design of the logo, a modern design was created. Good year has been onto good thing since way back in the 1900s, and it is still going strong.

Good Year

7. Coca Cola

There is no way to talk about branding without mentioning how Coca Cola managed to rebrand and still remain the most liked soft drinks of all the time. They are veterans in the business and have shown us how high quality and exceptional marketing strategies can keep their product on the throne for years or maybe decade as well?

During the early 1980s and 1990s when the brand was just a baby on the global level, standardized products and messaging resulted in a backlash against American colonization. For that reason, in 2000, Coca Cola came up with the “think local, act local” marketing strategy to enhance the local sensitivity. This marketing strategy proved to be the best for them as they came out stronger and bolder.

Since then, the brand has been promoting its product with the same message of love, happiness, family and sharing. It is said in the marketing world, to make your product loved by everyone make sure you are creating an emotional connection with your audience, and that is what Coca-Cola did and succeeded.  Coca-Cola’s story is one of the best brand story examples, and you can learn a lot from it.

Coca Cola

You may find it interesting: History of the Coca Cola Logo

8. Cadbury Dairy Milk

Cadbury Dairy Milk is not alien to anybody, even those who are not much of the chocolate fan loves devouring Dairy Milk, one thing that has been consistent since its launch is it’s purple color. Initially, like all the other brands, Cadbury was more of favor of adding all the relevant information on the packaging, which was quite relatable for that time.

 Now that time has changed, people today religiously follow the mantra of “less is more”. Today the packaging of the chocolate bar is less decorative, and it appeals to customers with the goodness of chocolate and imagery that highlights the famous tagline of the brand “a glass and a half.”

Cadbury Dairy Milk

9. ACLU

The aim of the organization is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the laws and constitutions of the USA. With a purpose to unite the whole country and accept inclusivity, they said good-bye to their old blue branding and welcomed a palette of red and blue.

The brand further collaborated with the ACLUs disability rights team to make sure all the elements of branding like text and color are accessible for everyone, living through the purpose of the brand.

ACLU

10. NFL

When you are already on a good path then why do you need to change the direction? Right? That is exactly what NFL believed in and has been working this logo for years now. The use of red, blue, and white color in the logo depicts patriotism as there are some stars added too. Nevertheless, when they changed the logo, they removed the stripes, which made it more convenient for the graphic designers to reproduce and transmit the logo electronically.

NFL

11. PNG Air

It is an airline based in Papua New Guinea, their overall rebranding processes include change of the brand name, positioning along with the visual identity overhaul. The primary purpose of the rebranding was to transition the company from a simple price-focused airline to a powerful brand with a robust brand reputation.

To rebrand effectively, the marketers included a visual motif of some known cultural icons that paid considerable homage to the history, country, and promise of the brand, which is “to serve their people.”

PNG Air

12. Weet- bix

The current food packaging trend calls for the image of the food on the packaging as shown in the packaging of Cadbury and Lipton, the rise of incorporating the product image on the packaging began in the 1920s. Before that, advertising and packaging hugely relied on decorative typography and illustration to attract the audience.

Weet- bix

13. Vogue

Vogue is everybody’s-go-to-magazine to look for all the current and trendy fashion. They are known for putting out the finest images on their magazine covers whether it is a mere illustration, something related to fashion or any current actor/ actress. In the early 1900s, Art Deco fashion exhibited expensive and high-end garments, a cosmopolitan flavor and tailored masthead.

The current magazine covers are not much different from each other. Nevertheless, one thing that remains constant is Vogue’s next level branding, as it reflects fashion who or what was trending at a particular year, month or even a decade.

Vogue

14. Shell company

Out of many known and famous logos, one logo that has made its space in the mind of its customers is the logo of Shell; it is one of the most recognized logos in the world. There have been many evolutions in line with trends in graphic designing.

The designers gradually changed the logo from a more realistic iteration; the recent Shell logo is different with simple lines and strong and powerful colors. The advanced simplification worked to improve memorability and recognition along with the better facsimile transmissions in the 1950s.

Shell company Logo

Another interesting read for you: Logo Evolution: The Top 9 Famous Brands over the Time

15. Quaker

Healthy eating has become a fashion again, to stay fit or to keep a safe distance from the cholesterol and other chronic diseases people are now bringing a considerable change in their diet, which calls for a bowl of Quakers. The brand came into the world in the year 1877, and initially the Quaker man has been deservedly trimmed with a thinner face, fewer wrinkles, and shorter hair.

With time, he moved with the times to become more svelter and lighter to align with the brand value of Quaker. Moreover, they have further added the Est. 1877 on their logo to mark the tradition. Quaker

16. London underground.

There is not much difference in the logo of the London Underground logo and logo for the Underground as it is for the London city. The circle first appeared in 1908 and has proved to be one of the most identified and recognized shapes that works as an easy to remember and read station market.

The logo has been streamlined and the colors were tweaked to hold a place as one of the most influential and high emulated logos of all the time. All my Londoners can agree to the fact that the modern logo is easy to look at and most importantly, pretty less chaotic.

London underground

17. Tupperware

This brand often summons images of moms of all the old eras obsessed with their Tupperware. So, instead of going away from it, the brand recognizes the image as an essential element of the legacy and a better mission.

Tupperware is not just about the containers; the brand is all about empowering women who sell their products around the globe. Thus gave the brand a new tagline “confidence becomes you”.

Their bold rebranding introduced attractive colors, people-focused images and a clear aesthetic to make the brand a more of the modern age brand.

Tupperware

18. Heinz

Heinz is everybody’s go-to-brand for sauces, while speaking of color schemes; it is quick challenging to not add red color specially when you are ketchup brand. However, Heinz came up with a smarter approach and both aforementioned advertisement speak to the freshness of Heinz tomatoes.

The 1962 ad does this through copy, “… made from fresh sun-ripened tomatoes,” while the 2007 ad uses imagery with the simple addition of green tomato leaves coming out of the bottle.

Heinz

19. Juicy Fruit

Generation Y can agree that Juicy Fruit gum was the best conversation starter of its time. In 1946, the brand radically redesigned the packaging the Juicy Fruits to its classic version that stayed in the market till 1987.

The brand launched the bright yellow cover and added two red chevrons at both ends of the packet. In the current packaging, the brand has tweaked the font to represent the gun and sweet brand values. While everyone widely liked the packaging, there were a few reviews where people said they liked the old design more and better.

Juicy Fruit

20. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts is everybody’s go-to-place for midnight doughnut craving; so much so most people spell doughnuts as Do-n-u-t-s. Now coming to the logo of the brand, everything about the logo has changed since its birth in this world.

Due to the worldwide success of the brand, they introduced a modern logo in 1980 and later in 2002, when they expanded their menu, they added a coffee cup in the logo.

Dunkin Donuts

21. Crest

One of the well-known designer Donald Deskey was the one who crafted the logo of the Crest toothpaste and designed the packaging in 1956. The packaging of the brand has changed overall; however, there are a few of the aspects of the packaging that remained intact.

As you can see, the “C” is still in the red as it was before, “E” is still sparkling, and an arrow is pointed towards the end of the box of the toothpaste. Therefore, it can be said a lot has been changed, but the basics are still the same.

Crest

22. Burger King

The logo of Burger King is changed from top to bottom, not only the logo they have even revamped the name of the brand. One can see it is still Burger King, but they have now removed “Home of the Whopper”. The logo has been transformed from complex and literal interpretations of the brand name – a king sitting on the top of the burger to more an animated logo with a sandwich and Burger King in between the halves of the burger.

Burger King

23. McDonald’s

The house of Chicky and kid’s meal and simple vanilla cone ice cream has also undergone significant branding processes. It is not easy to go past the golden arches when discussing the timeless branding and these images from the earlier times show that this yellow M has been a part of McDonald’s branding since the start.

In fact so much, so that golden arches were an architectural feature of the first establishment of McDonald’s in 1952.

McDonald Logo

24. BMW

BMW everyone’s most favorite car to ride on has recently revealed a new BMW logo, which effectively coincides with the release of its new i4 concept car, and it is just another addition to the flat design movement. Gone are the days when BMW used to flaunt its black outer ring and 3D lighting impact as it has been replaced in order to create a more minimal look. However, one thing that remains same is the circle and other blue and black colors.

BMW

You may wonder: Why is Minimalism a hot trend among Logo Designers?

25. Volkswagen

Our another favorite automobile brand is on its way to the rebranding process and has recently launched a new and flatter logo which evidently lends itself better to the imminent batch of the new electric cars of the company. It is comparatively simpler to display wide range of screens and allows the brand visually distance itself from the dark Dieselgate days.

The current logo is comparatively lighter and thinner, the brand has ditched the previous skeuomorphic drop shadowed logo and is now easier to memorize today. If you see it closely you would see how the logo is promoting social distancing. As Volkswagen badge, which was designed recently, has put some extra space between the “V” and the “W”.

Volkswagen Logo

26. Audi

Audi gets the credit for being the most creative in terms of logo designing and clearly depicting the year 2020 through its logo and how important social distancing is. To combat the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, Audi has changed its logo temporarily. The logo has some minimal distance between the circles and separates the four rings from each other.

Audi

You should also read: 20 epic branding mistakes that you should not miss out on

Conclusion

There is a lesson hidden in the overall branding procedure of all the brands. You and I, as an amateur, can learn a lot from these brands. Who would have thought that a simple change in the logo can result in attracting a considerable number of the customers, but it is the reality for some major brands.

The success stories of famous brands give us hope and make us believe that there is a scope for hard work and innovation. The fusion of hard work and out of box ideas can get your brand to the new height. The famous brand stories and brand revitalization examples allow you to understand how brand values and target market changes or remains consistent over time. It gives us a clear picture of what was popular and trendy at one particular period and reveals significant trends in branding.

The successful brand management examples, along with the regular brand management examples mentioned above, are the living proof of how a little miss and match in the branding with time to time can go a long way. However, you have to be smart throughout the process as a little miss of the step can result in ruining the whole brand reputation.

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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