Brands Misbehaving…

After much internal debate, belladonna has selected the 3 companies below as some of the worst brands. What brands would you nominate?


Coffee Time


“The crack house of coffee shops. At least they are consistent at being bad.” Coffee Time recently relaunched with a new messy logo and identity platform that could be reminiscent of either the smell of coffee or more likely the strong odor of cigarette smoke that still permeates their retail locations. Consistent in poor marketing and brand experiences, Coffee Time delivers an overall dismal coffee shop encounter.



The little engine that could not deliver—union strikes, cancelled service, late trains, “cattle call” packed trains/buses and increased pricing all leave GO as one of the worst brands to deliver on its brand promise of safe, convenient, and efficient transportation to the communities of the Toronto area. As a clear monopoly they win by default, not by design.



“It takes years of neglect or mismanagement to destroy a strong brand, and even longer to rejuvenate a brand that has fallen into disrepair,” Alan Middleton, Professor of Marketing at York University. Years of bad service, late flights, government bailouts and other frustrating experiences have left a mark on Air Canada’s brand. Regardless of what new marketing tactics Air Canada tries, its consumers will always remember that their experiences were inconsistent with the brand’s promise.


3 Responses to “Brands Misbehaving…”

  1. 1 mciao
    May 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Air Canada their motto: We’re not happy until you’re unhappy” Yeah, Coffee Time creeps me out!

  2. 2 yelgammal
    June 7, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    GO transit is a perfect example of the poor transportation system across Canada. Unfortunately, it is the only game in town. We need stronger systems from GO to TTC to Air Canada.
    Coffee time is definitely the creepiest coffee shop in town. Didn’t we used to say the same about Time Horton’s? Great innovation and brand recognition has made Tim Horton’s one of Canada’s most notable brands.

  3. 3 hura1989
    June 13, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Lets add Future Shop to the list.
    They flock to you when you want to buy something, but the second you want to return something “fugetta ’bout it”.

    They give you a warranty, you pay the extra money but good luck trying to return the piece of junk…consider yourself lucky to even get a hold of a customer service representative.

    Oh, their attempt at a logo is absolutely atrocious. Can they get anymore basic. Shouldn’t the name Future Shop imply something a little more post modern? I could probably make a better word mark in Microsoft Paint.

    I am thinking a total rehaul of this company, but kudos to them on making their website a little more interactive.

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