As big brands attempt to catch up to the light speed change of small brand marketing tactics, the only place they are going is in the trash. With the ease of social media and vast fields of online content, consumers are ready and willing to critique (good or bad) the development of new company logos at the drop of a hat. Smaller, up-and-coming brands are virtually out of sight to the daily consumer. But companies like Gap, Microsoft and Wendy’s are impossible to miss. How will these companies survive a rebrand when consumers kill their efforts right off the table?
Founded in 1969, you would think they would have no problem rebranding especially with their track record of appealing to a broader demographic than some smaller, more sophisticated stores. Nope, not the case after 20 years with the same logo. Gap attempted to rebrand in 2010 but the outcry of hatred toward the new design eventually left Gap with no choice but to go back to their trusty old “blue box” design.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates created an empire that has tested the likes of many people on this planet. As for the company logo that has not changed in 25 years; I don’t believe I can say that the “likes” of the people are the same as the formulation of the products it provides. As some critics have said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the logo but there is also nothing absolutely exciting about it. Terry Heckler, founder of Heckler Associates, a branding firm in Seattle says, “It’s awfully bland, particularly if you saw it in one color.” Microsoft, unlike Gap, has plunged forward with their design and has no intentions of going back.
After 30 years of Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Wendy’s has implemented a “modernized” look and feel to its brand and restaurants. The company went through extensive research for over two years with integrated brand agency Tesser. In the end, they believe that they have accomplished their goal of pleasing the everyday consumer in the 2012 world. Will Wendy’s, in comparison to Gap and Microsoft, withstand the test of time and the general public?
As a graphic designer, I know it’s not easy to have a logo trashed and beat upon after it has been put into full production. Although it should be widely understood that in order to effectively create designs, you must learn how to objectively critique designs. With that being said, brands must, which I assume they do, take the time to evaluate every opinion and every critique that surrounds their company before rebranding. Humans have been inundated by brands from the day they were born and the world of social media has enabled us to reach out with ease. Whether you believe it or not, your opinion matters. As you can see with these three companies it has become very easy to be the voice of many, against the power of “the man.”
Images courtsey of FastCo.Design blog posts
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