Over the last few years, there has been a monumental shift around what defines a brand. It used to be simply summed up by answering “who you are” and “what you do”, but now the questions have evolved into “why does it matter?” and how does it make you feel?” And while companies can’t control these processes of thought and emotion completely, they can definitely influence them and find ways to communicate why their service and product is different through their brand identity. So how do you know if it’s time for your company to rebrand? Let’s take a look.
Some quick reasons to re-brand include:
1. Shake off an old image
2. Tap into a new demographic
3. You’ve outgrown your original mission
4. The market is evolving
5. All you’ve got is a name
From a designer’s standpoint, it’s fascinating to see how some brands evolve visually overtime while trying to achieve one of the objectives above. Sometimes that shift is subtle, as seen with Starbucks. For the most part, their logo evolution reflects an attempt to keep up with design trends of the time and simplifying things as they gained recognition and awareness. As you can see, they’ve now earned the luxury of being so established that they no longer need their name in order to be identified.
Other companies, such as Walmart, have made more drastic changes as they have re-branded multiple times through the years.
There is much more to a re-brand than just visually making something different by changing color, typography or the mark or symbol. The reasons behind Walmart’s most recent rebrand were aimed at meeting the new requirements of today’s consumers. “Walmart’s refreshed brand focuses on the emotional payoffs of saving money. The new logo features a brilliantly simple Spark. Evocative of the light bulb that goes off in your head when you feel smart about something, or the burst of energy you feel when you enjoy a better life, the Spark speaks to the emotional foundation of the brand. The Spark is complemented by its kindred new tagline, ‘Save money. Live better.’ which resonates with legacy Walmart shoppers, but also with new customer segments that see value as an enabler to a better, less compromised life.”
The best brands stand on much more than a good look and aesthetic, they resonate on an emotional level with their consumers and create an experience that makes them want to come back or buy again. This emotional play shouldn’t be seen so much as a hurdle, but instead a springboard to create innovative, remarkable and relevant brands. And that might be the best New Year’s Resolution a company could make for 2017.