There are a number of reasons for an organization to rebrand itself.
A company may have had a major change in leadership. A brand could choose to shift focus to a more specific line of products or services. Negative publicity might necessitate a total overhaul for an organization’s image.
Whatever the reason to rebrand a company, it’s not a decision to be made without plenty of forethought and research. Especially for well-established brands with a long history, changing the logo even slightly, could cause a big ripple in public opinion.
How should an organization approach rebranding?
The answer is: Cautiously.
For a well-established brand with a loyal customer base, a slight modernization of the logo type, refreshed colors, and/or a simplified logo mark could be all that’s needed to keep the brand looking relevant, while still recognizable.
On the other hand, a younger company can get away with a more dramatic overhaul to their logo. An entirely new mark could even be created. It may take a moment for customers to adapt, but there is less risk of customers having a strongly negative reaction to the change.
Airbnb – Old vs New logo
When Airbnb, an online community for people to list, redesigned its logo, the change had been highly criticized. However, the brand continued growing in the last years despite all of these criticisms.
Finally, rebranding – whether subtle or a major overhaul – makes a statement that something has changed.
Make sure your organization is ready to be transparent about what that is and aligned about how to respond to any criticism that may be voiced.
Often after a company change its logo, the public will respond negatively simply because it’s different.
Now more than ever, Twitter and other social media platforms make it easy for anyone – design training or not – to voice their opinions on a logo redesign, and a takedown post is more fun to write and to share than a praise post.
Jokes will be made. Eyes will roll. A few people may give the thumbs up.
Do not panic
If you’re ever at the helm of a rebrand that’s receiving negative comments – stay calmn. Sit back and be patient, because after the initial flurry of critiques, consumers will adjust to the new mark – or logo type or color palette).
The brand should stand firm with their design team and remain confident that the change was a good one.
For instance, when Formula One unveiled their new logo, the new design didn’t satisfy the fans at all.
Despite the negative comments about the new logo, Formula One’s First Director of Marketing, Ellie Norman said that maybe the reactions are contemporary and after some amount of time, loyals will realize that the new logo is not that bad at all.
“New” doesn’t last for long, and if you remain assured in your rebranding decision, your audience will follow suit.