Nostalgia vs. Evolution
How do you evolve your brand identity in a changing industry?
You are running a successful business when suddenly; your industry pivots in a completely different direction from your established brand. What do you do? Well, if this change is not a trend but a long-term global movement, it may be time to evolve your brand identity. Businesses, large and small must cope with these changes in order to survive. Let’s highlight two companies that found themselves in this situation but used two different strategies: Burger King and General Motors (GM).
Burger King Strategy: Nostalgia
Burger King has had more than six logo changes since 1953. Recently, they changed their logo to match the 1969-1999 retro look to match the food industry’s placing more emphasis on natural foods. To accomplish this, Burger King separated themselves from their familiar blue “swoosh” and embraced natural earth-tone colors. Additionally, they has discarded the “shiny” unnatural bun. Burger King has taken a nostalgic appeal, modernized it to follow the direction of the industry, and do this while retaining its signature look.
General Motors Strategy: Evolution
Unlike Burger King, General Motors (GM) has only changed their logo four times since their start in 1938. These changes have typically been subtle. However, with the growing popularity of electric cars, GM has thrown in all their chips and made the biggest change to their brand identity. Their logo, once all caps, is now lowercase and the sharp bold edges have been traded for curves. Their deep blue chrome look was switched to a more vibrant-electric blue (no pun intended). GM doubles down on its new direction even further, by hiding what looks like an electric plug in the logo.
I won’t say which strategy I prefer because its objective. But I’m sure both company’s annual reports will tell their own tale. At the end of the day, when making changes to your brand identity, simply follow these two rules:
- Make changes that line up with the direction of your industry
- Don’t make changes so drastic that your existing consumers can’t tell it’s still you. *Cough Tropicana 2009 Cough*
Follow these rules, and your brand will be ready for any industry change!
If you’re interested in more strategies or a way our team of Mad Designers can breathe some life into your brand, schedule an imagination session with us! We’d love to hear how we can help!
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