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Rebranding of Major Brands in 2023 by Cristiano Oliveira

Image commercially licensed from
Image commercially licensed from

Image Commercially Licensed from: DepositPhotos

By: Cristiano Oliveira

The global business landscape was marked by significant transformations in the year 2023 when renowned companies decided to redesign their visual identities in a strategic move known as rebranding. Among the brands that took center stage in this process were Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, Western Union, Pepsi, HBO Max, Reddit, Petz, Itaú, and, quite controversially, Twitter.

Cristiano Oliveira

Photo Credited to: Cristiano Oliveira, Brazilian Specialist in Branding)

Nokia: Innovating Towards New Horizons

Nokia, with over six decades of history, surprised the world by revealing its new brand identity. The rebranding was not merely a cosmetic change but a strategy to reposition the company as an innovator in the B2B technology field. A longstanding partnership with Lippincott resulted in a logo with geometric and abstract characteristics, replacing the classic typography. The change reflects not only a visual modernization but also a new purpose: “At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together.”

Johnson & Johnson: Moving Towards Health Innovations

Amid a broader transformation focused on health innovations, Johnson & Johnson opted for a rebranding that departed from the traditional cursive font. The renaming of the pharmaceutical division and the introduction of the Kenvue brand for consumer products highlight the company’s shift in positioning. This strategy aims to align the brand with the most complex challenges in the healthcare sector.

Western Union: Digitalization and Brand Recognition

Financial giant Western Union, aware of the changes in the financial landscape with the growth of digital payments, sought to align its image with consumer expectations. The rebranding led by Love Street and Company resulted in a more modern and dynamic design while preserving the recognizable color palette. The company reinforces its global presence while adapting to technological advancements.

Pepsi: Celebrating History, Embracing the Future

Celebrating 125 years, Pepsi undertook a global rebranding. The new logo features custom typography, incorporating a distinctive “pulse” and an updated color palette. The introduction of motion and animation in the visual identity aims to ensure versatility in different contexts, from retail shelves to digital spaces, while the emphasis on black reflects the commitment to Pepsi Zero Sugar.

HBO Max: Simplifying to Expand the Audience

Streaming service HBO Max boldly simplified its name to “Max.” This change aims to highlight the diversity of content offered, going beyond HBO’s traditional offerings. The strategy seeks to make the service more “family-friendly” and appealing to a broader audience in a competitive streaming market.

Reddit: Cohesion and Diversity in Visual Identity

Reddit, in partnership with the Pentagram agency, underwent a significant transformation. The redesign resulted in a more cohesive and updated visual identity, incorporating a 3D version of the iconic Snoo mascot. New typography and an expanded color palette reflect the diversity of communities on the platform, reinforcing its commitment to inclusion and creative expression.

Petz: A Comprehensive Ecosystem for Pet Owners

Petz, a leader in the pet products and services segment, sought to integrate its own brands and services in a rebranding effort. The new design, developed internally with support from the Ginga agency, represents a complete ecosystem for pet owners and their pets. The company unified apps, revamped the loyalty program, and introduced a new logo that balances weight and charisma, aiming to function both offline and online.

Itaú: Modernization and Commitment to the Future

Itaú, a leader among Brazil’s most valuable brands, opted for a profound transformation in its visual identity. While preserving iconic elements associated with the black stone, the new design modernizes the bank’s communication, conveying an image of security and care. The update of the tagline to “Made of the Future” reinforces the financial institution’s commitment to future generations.

Twitter: The Controversial “X” by Elon Musk

Twitter, now called “X,” embarked on one of the most controversial rebrandings of 2023, led by Elon Musk after his acquisition of the social network. The change to “X” reflects Musk’s vision to transform Twitter into a “super app,” incorporating financial and shopping functionalities. The choice of the letter “X” follows the pattern used in his company SpaceX. However, the change was widely criticized for dismantling a brand built over 17 years, generating controversies on social media.*

In a post-pandemic scenario, rebranding emerges as a global trend in the business world. Leading companies seek to reposition their brands, adapting to technological advancements, shifts in consumer behavior, and a constantly changing business environment. Whether out of necessity or opportunity, rebranding is not just a cosmetic change but a strategy to build a better future, more aligned with public expectations and the challenges of the contemporary world.

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