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The evolution of a brand

Published: 07/04/2016 | AUTHOR: Emily Bray

Logos

Brands are a lot like teenagers.

Hear me out.

Just like teenagers, brands go through a lot of changes in style, tone, look and how they wish to present themselves in order to fit in. This can alter several times during their teen years and last well into adulthood as they keep in line with the latest fashions and social trends.

These changes can, at times, divide a nation; setting parent against parent and consumer against consumer, but ultimately it’s a part of life.

Brand evolution

One of the biggest changes you’re likely to notice in a brand as a consumer is when said brand changes its logo. These logos are a huge part of a brand’s image and are used to represent what a brand stands for and what sets it apart from its competitors. With this in mind, it’s little wonder that brands adapt their logos over time.

Many famous brand logos are so iconic that you might be surprised to find they’ve changed at all but, especially with longstanding European brands, they’ve sometimes changed countless times.

The automotive industry

With a strong base and experience with automotive clients, we fully understand the importance of keeping logos in this sector fresh and contemporary while also adhering to an often long and traditional history.

While it’s becoming less obvious with contemporary logo styles, cultural differences between companies were once more apparent.

What these two examples illustrate is the scale of the change for some companies. Both of the above marques have a long history, BMW being established in Munich in 1916, Fiat established in Turin, Italy in 1899. But their logos have altered quite differently. Fiat has adapted to changing times and has had numerous iterations of its logo, while BMW isn’t all that different today from its 1923 design.

Tech brands

Technology is an industry that changes notoriously quickly and, as such, you might expect tech brands to change their logos more frequently.

The above two logo changes are perfect examples and clearly illustrate the change that digital underwent between first gaining traction and the importance it has today.

Google, of course, has changed quite a bit. From the early days where Larry Page had created a logo using GIMP in 1998 to today’s, still simple, yet iconic bold colouring, Google is a perfect example of the changing trends in both technology and culture as well as graphic design.

Because we don’t like change

It’s true. Most of us can’t stand change. We’re comfortable with what we know and many of us are hostile towards the idea of something new.

This can be useful in marketing, where we know that 72 percent of snake person shoppers are favourable to retargeting, and we can use this disdain towards change to our advantage. But in the evolution of design it can be problematic for brands.

BBC Three was a great example of this. Not only was the greater public already uncomfortable with the idea that it was being taken offline but they were then faced with – gasp! – a new logo.

The logo was met with anticipated hostility and sheer mockery in some cases but BBC Three went down the route of retaliation and instead of backing down and changing back to the old design it stood by its guns, with the BBC even publishing an article highlighting the haters.


It wouldn’t be fair to use these examples without admitting to our own brooding teenage period. Yes, we admit, we weren’t always the classy purple and white graphic you see before you. No, we too have our own hidden album on Facebook, full of misjudged cover photos and outfits that should never leave the back of the wardrobe.

 

What can we learn from all this? Change is good.

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