If you’re fed up of the same old, then you replace it with something new. This logic can be applied to most things, given our need improve the quality of our lives. Most would agree that replacing the old with the new represents a step forward.
Can the same logic be applied to a brand image?
If a brand alters its logo, its marketing campaign or, in the case of retailers, the design and layout of its shops, does it have a negative impact on customer loyalty?
Does familiarity really breed contempt, as the old saying goes?
What’s in a logo?
Do you really get what you pay for?
Update it, don’t change it
WHAT’S IN A LOGO?
Cast your mind back to 2015, before the apparent madness that has defined 2016. Google changed their logo and brand identity. It seems an almost banal piece of news given what’s happened since, but at the time there was a big reaction from users of its Android OS as well as the online community whose cherished original Google logo had morphed into, well, not something else entirely, but just something ever so slightly different.
As some noted, “you probably won’t notice it at all.” This turned out to be the case for most of us, as Google did what many companies do. Rather than fix something that isn’t broken, they tinker, ever so slightly, like a tech-savvy Claudio Ranieri, and almost shape the way one remembers the original brand identity.
Look at the former Google logo now, it does look a little dated.
The replacement, however, doesn’t suddenly seem inferior or annoying, rather, it maintains that intangible quality of the original.
In an episode of Mad Men, the lead character, ad executive Don Draper remembers what one of his first employers told him about advertising – it was all about nostalgia. “…it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.” I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to apply this idea to the redesign of Google’s logo.
They needed to invoke the same spirit of the company.
Thus the colours remain, the font is sharpened and emboldened but hasn’t exactly metamorphosed into something unrecognisable.
DO YOU REALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR?
There are other ways to rebrand, of course, beyond the logo. A famous example of a successful rebrand that took a little thinking outside the box was that of Burberry. A former favourite of gangs, the iconic Burberry pattern was adapted and thus became inexplicably associated with a certain type of culture.
Gangs – that’s a tough rebrand.
What did they do? One of the actions they took was raising the prices of their products, to truly put them back into the premium market. Suddenly people began to associate Burberry with expense and luxury again, and sales again surged.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”5531″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” el_class=”s-padding-bottom”][vc_column_text el_class=”s-padding-bottom font-size-20″]The iconic Burberry pattern didn’t change, nor did the logo; they simply changed the perception of the brand with incremental changes.They remained consistent and stood by their product.
UPDATE IT, DON’T CHANGE IT
Apple are a go-to brand for anybody who wants to know the secrets to maintaining a loyal legion of customers & fans. In 1997 with the company on the verge of bankruptcy, a drastic change was needed. A new line of products “that are well-made and enhanced by beautiful packaging” meant Apple not only survived, but thrived and is now the world’s biggest tech company.
As brand strategist Marc Shillum notes:
“Everyone from the CEO to a sales rep needs to understand the company’s mission and be free to articulate it in their own way.”[/vc_column_text]
There is always a consistency to how Apple operates. Anybody who’s ever bought one of their products will undoubtedly be aware of just how their plain white pristine packaging creates a sensation unlike any other tech product.
Of course, the premium price of their product range should also be considered a factor in their desirability, just like Burberry, but their products are packaged in an identifiable way, which is a small detail that can go a long way to fostering brand loyalty.
Apple leaves a truly lasting impression through that familiarity and consistency in which the small details aren’t ignored.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
As Einstein said, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Sometimes rebranding is absolutely necessary, but companies should be wary of straying too far from what has endeared them to customers before. Whilst doing the same thing over and over again might not produce differing results, maintaining a consistent brand image and forging an identity could mean reaping big rewards.