Why Blend in When You Can Be Authentic and Standout‏

How many of you have seen a popular company make the attempt to rebrand themselves? I thought as much; almost all of you. Some brands got it right, but a few duds come to mind, like Gap (see below) and Arby’s that did it horribly wrong.

From a design standpoint, when attempting to redo an existing logo design for your business [that has worked well for years and possibly decades], it is important that the personality of that design is preserved. After all, these days branding is more than just visuals. It has evolved into the emotions you feel; the experiences you have interacting with that business’ product or service; and the memories you make.

Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo
Gap a lot of grief from loyal customers for trying a new logo

Coca-Cola’s classic logo (unchanged for over 100 years) and its “Open Happiness” global campaign are great modern examples of doing it right. Two words come to mind — brand loyalty. When redesigning your logo, bear in mind what your company represents and what you have envisioned for its expansion in the short, medium, to long-term. Form is as important as function; do not forget that.

Do not give up your ‘competitive advantage’! Your brand should be able to tell a story and its visuals are a part of that storytelling. Before you rebrand try to keep in mind the importance of your product and if you are a designer (like myself), before you take on a rebranding project, focus on your client’s unique identity and preserve that explicitly or subtly as is necessary.

Virtually unchanged for 115 years
Virtually unchanged for 115 years

Often times when a business begins to experience growth, in sustaining or expanding that growth potential we seek out ways to improve our product(s) and service(s). Do not be fooled to think that an “improvement” in your brand has to involve a 180 degree move. New is not always better. Old is sometimes best. Sometimes all we need to do is give what has been working a bit of a polish to make it just a little shinier. It “pays” to be authentic.

Disclaimer: NOT a promotional endorsement for Coca-Cola, but their logo’s pretty damn cool.

Editor’s Note: Updated on April 29, 2015