There was an interesting article about “Why do companies rebrand?” in yesterday’s issue of Economic Times on Sunday (Aug 28-Sept 3, 2011, page 16, Bangalore edition). I am unable to find the article on their site. For some reason logos have always been of interest to me – more than the graphic the reasoning, thought process which goes behind the logo is always interesting to read.
For many months I have been collecting a few articles related to change of logo, those very same topics were covered in yesterday’s article. Thought of pulling those articles out of my Inbox into this posting. Later in the article will include the highlights from yesterday’s article.
- Gap: The famous US apparel maker changes its logo sometime in October 2010. There was a lot of criticism in the social media (2,000 comments on Facebook) about the logo change, the company had to revert back to the original logo.
- Starbucks: The new Starbucks logo was released in Jan 2011, it dropped the company name from the logo! Guess they felt everyone knew which company the logo represented. This article felt they should have just dropped the word “Coffee” if Starbucks was planning on broadening their offerings. This symbol is not the Apple logo, which is an apple. It is not the golden arches of McDonald’s. It is not the Nike, swoosh. All of these are very simple and clean symbols that evolved over time. The mermaid is a complex design.
- Few Indian companies have started rebranding themselves: Airtel, Godrej (in 2008 to connect with Gen Y), Hero MotoCorp, Sonata (Watch brand from Titan), ValueFirst
Do Corporates Change Logo for Free PR?
- Another article summarized the Gap disaster as – Gap got a crappy logo for $12.99 at some cheap design shop, put it online, and waited for the outcry. Suddenly 17% of their customers saw GAP all over their screens. What an awesome SM campaign! Costs: $12.99 + maybe $1,000.00 for handling the communication
- The only good thing coming out of this for Starbucks is the huge number of blogs and articles on the subject.
Few important points from articles linked to from this posting (including ET article)
- A corporate identity should follow a brand strategy, which should follow a business strategy.
- Consumers grow and change faster than companies and brands. Hence they change the logo to connect with current generation of consumers.
- Logos change because of,
- Merger, acquisition, break-up
- To differentiate from competition (why would anyone bother to have a logo which resembles the competition?)
- To get rid of the negative image (e.g. Satyam -> Mahindra Satyam which added ‘credibility’ factor)
Do’s Of Rebranding
- Do your research: Why do you want to rebrand? How would your existing and potential customers perceive you?
- Continuity: Don’t change the brand ‘dramatically’. Change your brand in phases (that way logo designers/brand gurus will have continuous business from you!)
- Get feedback: Ask employees, friends what they think of the new logo.
Don’ts of Rebranding
- Rebranding is not just about new logos, colors. It is about re-engineering the soul of a brand (reasonably sure NONE of them touch their souls)
- Don’t change too much, your loyal customers may not even recognize you.
Approximate costs of rebranding according to the ET article: Axis Bank (Rs 50 crore), Bharti Airtel (Rs 300 crore), Videocon (Rs 200 crore), Hero MotoCorp (Rs 200 crore)
While I am no corporate a small insight into my logo. I was visiting Glasgow and came across the interesting font by the famous local designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I liked the style, used it in the logo.
Other related articles,