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Big Companies that had Questionable Re-Brands

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Rebranding can be tricky, and even the biggest businesses in the world can make mistakes with their branding.

The only difference is that the bigger your business, the bigger the mistake can be because so many more people have their eyes, ears and opinions on it.

Here are six big businesses that made some pretty questionable decisions when they rebranded…

Alpha Tauri

In 2024, Alpha Tauri rebranded as Racing Bulls (which is actually a fantastic name) however they made the rather bizarre decision to compete as Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team, and although it’s pretty obvious why the name was chosen (sponsorship!), the mind boggles over why the name was approved.

It’s not just a really bad name, it’s also really confusing.


Ah Twitter. Where to even start with this monstrosity.

Does anyone take X seriously?

This rebrand says more about Musk’s ego than anything else, and does absolutely nothing to boost morale for this rapidly declining in relevance social media platform. And let’s not even mention all the trademarks Musk encroached on, with this terrible rebrand choice.


In 2008, Pepsi launched a rebrand that wasn’t bad – as such – however, it was supported by a pretentious 27-page design strategy that can teach us all what not to put into a branding proposal.

As a writer, I have always been taught to simplify things; why use 10 words, when three would get the message across?

Pepsi’s agency should also take this advice. What did they even have to say for a full 27 pages?


Why change what ain’t broke? Any why change it to something that removes everything that iconic about your brand?

This rebrand went so wrong for Gap, that they ended up returning to their original logo, which they still use to this day. Thank goodness.


The reason behind many rebrands is to simplify or tidy up an existing logo, to keep it fresh and relevant.

So what Mastercard were thinking with a rebrand that included a blurred 3rd circle added to their iconic logo, no one really knows.

No surprise that they did not stick with this logo, and it does not feature in the Brand History on the Mastercard website.

WH Smith

Businesses changing their names isn’t unusual, for example Wilkinsons becoming Wilkos. However, in late 2023 when WH Smith weirdly trialled a rebrand as WHS, eye brows were raised and heads were scratched.

Not only this the rename made no sense, because there was nothing wrong with their existing name, which has a long history as a British High Street brand, the logo itself looked oddly like the NHS logo…hopefully we will see this “trial” disappear in the same manner as Gap and Mastercard’s bad choices.

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