I was just running the app updates on my smartphone, minding my own business, and suddenly there it was.. This new, weird looking icon was looking at me and I didn’t recognise. Do I panic!?
-99% of the consumers
With every radical brand revamp there’s a majority of people struggling with the change. Adjusting to change is difficult, I know. But where does a redesign like this come from? Obviously a logo is not just an app icon you tap everyday, it reflects the identity of a brand and in extent the company.
A brand will always try to remain authentic and close to its core values and pillars that it has been built on. But time and environments change. What if the brand image no longer reflects what the company has envisioned as their identity.
In all fairness Instagram’s hipster logo was a good one, it resembles the early-adopters, your average tech hipster who had that retro polaroid camera on his bookshelf next to a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers and a Casio watch.
But Instagram has gone mainstream. Its now the biggest photo-sharing network and all those small adjustments to the logo are no longer sufficient to have it resemble this identity. The brand, continuously innovating and a superstar in tech wants to show that it’s your photo app now and in the future.
On top of that Instagram has expanded their suite of apps and the brand image needs a new unique style that can be relayed to the sister apps and make the brand identity recognisable in the whole app suite. A specific style that makes consumers say “hmm that must be Instagram’s”.
I’ve taken Instagram, but the same goes for Uber as well. And any other company that has seen a crucial change in their identity either by growth or pivoting their business. Uber is of course drastically expanding its services, no longer focussing on the transportation of people but also food and goods. They too were forced to explore a new brand image with again a unique style to relay to their new services.
Some companies choose to gradually transition to a new brand-image, not wanting to create too many noise. But I applaud the gutsy moves to go straight to the final results. It shows true character and shows that the brand is not afraid to disrupt. If the business fits the brand identity and the identity fits the brand image, than why would the consumer know better?
Aesthetics vs. Acceptance
There are several ways to introduce a new brand image without gradually adjusting the logo. One way is to get the consumers buy-in up front by involving your community in the design direction. This might be a bit too much control for some companies, but it’s effective. Another way is to introduce the new rollout with a campaign in which again, the consumers are involved.
But should you really invest so much time and money into smoothening this process? It’s aesthetics anyway, and it will take two weeks of complaints until everyone has adjusted to the new look and forgot about the old one. I for one applaud these ballsy moves – keep on disrupting, keep thinking different!