June Nuggets - old logos, today?

For this months’ Nuggets, I’m looking at rebranding, but from a different perspective than normal.

What if your favourite brands never rebranded?

Branding specialist Thomas Stevens (@tjcreates on instagram) recently posted a project that explored that question. The project includes the original McDonald’s logo and colours on a modern day fries sleeve, and Apple’s original logo on a new iPad, amongst other examples.

The project really highlighted the importance of rebranding as companies, technology and customers evolve over time. 

Without updating their brand, McDonald’s would seem completely out of touch with its customers and products today. This goes for all brands: innovation brings change to their products, voice and overall outlook, so of course the brand should adapt with these changes.

The rebranding question

Rebranding is a big topic, full of questions: is it worth it? Do companies really have to rebrand? When is the right time for a company to rebrand?

And inevitably, when our favourite brands do rebrand, it can be hard to accept the new brand in place of that old and familiar brand that we have known for years. Many people form some level of an emotional connection to brands they love, which makes changes difficult. So rebranding is an area of design that is often in the spotlight and often being criticised (but sometimes praised). 

And when it goes wrong? Just look at Tropicana’s failed rebrand of 2009.

If the change is too drastic or too widespread, customers can no longer relate to the brand they once trusted, so they go elsewhere.

How to rebrand

With this in mind, how do companies and brand designers navigate a rebrand successfully? 

The key is in retaining the roots of the brand in the update. Keeping the important themes and visuals that link back to the brand’s heritage means that: A) the brand stays authentic; and B) ensures that the all important connection and familiarity is maintained so that customers are not alienated by the change.

* Burger King rebrand by JKR - this is an example of a well received rebrand. The rebrand seems to take BK back in time which seems counterproductive on the face of it (going backward rather than forward), but it shows that familiarity, heritage and simplicity is key to a successful rebrand.

More on this:

What if your favourite brands never rebranded (Creative Bloq)