Logos are brand personality, here is what happened when big brands changed them!

10th Jun 2016
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How would you feel waking up and not being able to find the icon of your favourite application on your phone? We bet you would yell at your sibling for messing around with your phone and deleting the application. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, and I had to give a hard look at my phone to realise that my favourite app, Instagram has, in fact, decided to get a makeover!

From Google to Uber and now, Instagram, many popular apps have changed their logos. Why do they do it? How does it affect the psyche of their customers? Let’s take a look at a few brands that recently came up with new logos to understand this trend.

Logo Change

Instagram

I have to start with this one for obvious reasons! Instagram has ditched its retro camera logo to come up with a new, rather flat camera icon with flashing colours of purple, orange and pink. It has also redesigned its app, giving it a more contemporary black and white feel. On being asked about this drastic shift, Ian Spalter, head of design, Instagram, said: “Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty. But the Instagram icon and the design were beginning to feel, well, not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better,”

Instagram said the new design reflected how the app, bought by Facebook for $1billion four years ago, had transformed since it was created. “We've been inspired by all the ways the community has grown and changed and we wanted to create something that reflects how vibrant and diverse storytelling on Instagram has become,” a spokesman said.

How are the followers and avid fans of Instagram taking this radical change? While a lot of people did not confer to the new look and feel of the brand, many have sent out positive vibes. Nevertheless, it would take a few days or weeks for users to get used to the new version.

Airbnb

Airbnb is the next one on my list simply because this brand did too many rounds in 2014, when it came up with a new logo. A lot of people could not really understand the need for the company to rebrand itself at a time when it was surging ahead in the market. Rebranding at such a crucial stage often draws criticism, but you really need to hear their side of the story too.

According to Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, The Bélo, as the San-Francisco based company has named its new logo, is a “symbol of belonging”. You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere. The rewards you get from Airbnb aren’t just financial – they are personal--for hosts and guests alike.”

Given the legal battles that all the three co-founders are embroiled in, coming up with a logo that signifies a community might bring some positivity to the brand. As far as the reaction of the community goes, the strategy has been able to pull at some emotional heartstrings.

MakeMyTrip

India’s popular online travel company, MakeMyTrip, recently went for an image makeover with a new logo and a tagline to reflect their new brand positioning in the market.

According to Saujanya Shrivastava, CMO, MakeMyTrip, "Qualitative research in the last few years highlighted that travel is no longer an annual event. For this (to tap the potential), we need to intervene much earlier in the travel-planning cycle. Thus, we have transformed our positioning in response to changing the consumer culture”.

Their new tagline, “Dil to Roaming Hai” and the narrative advertisement to back the idea behind rebranding encompass the wishes of a traveller and how the company promises to cater to the ambitious traveller-customers. As of now, both the logo and the tagline are being appreciated by the market leaders and are giving out promising results.

Uber

When Uber came up with the new logo, it did raise a few eyebrows and criticisms. Since millions of users around the world were used to the former black and white logo, an overnight change in the brand identity was frustrating for many. According to Uber, “The square represents the bit-a concept central to Uber’s business philosophy and that the new look would provide consistency, highlight information and make our brand easy to recognise”.

As per the experts, getting a logotype update was Uber’s attempt to define its purpose in the market and cement a new reputation. While the earlier logo yelled luxury, the new one does cater to the masses and matches the brand’s new identity. Even though the reaction to the change was not really encouraging, Uber’s team is certain about their future plans and a rebranding at this stage made a lot of sense for their business.

The story of branding and rebranding does not end here. A lot of brands and companies have gone for new looks, and a lot many are scheduled to happen in the coming months. The idea behind this is to communicate well to the customers. After all rebranding at the right time can take a brand places. A lot of times, this could bring them under the limelight, attracting more traction and conversions. Mostly, it is a win-win situation and the users are left with no option but to get used to the change.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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