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From past to present: the evolved art of Rebranding

Companies aiming to stay competitive and relevant can employ rebranding as an essential strategy in the ever-changing worlds of business and marketing. More than ever, companies today must undergo profound visual and conceptual transformations to adapt to a continuously evolving environment. The art of rebranding, however, is not a news of the 21st century: it is rooted in history and has developed over time, shaping the distinctive character of various brands.

Firstly, what does “rebranding” mean? A brand decides to perform rebranding when it considers its logo, communication, and associated symbols or products outdated. It then takes steps to revolutionize the corporate image of the business or brand. However, this decision does not always guarantee success or a change in the company’s value or following. Therefore, rebranding is a significant move which cannot be underestimated, as it can determine the future of an organization’s entire story.

People and their minds change, evolve, so variable elements are needed to secure a permanent place in the consumer’s mind. A good brand ensures clear differentiation from others; success is measured by the uniqueness of a logo, such as Coca-Cola‘s “red disk,” which has become practically synonymous with the world’s most famous and sold beverage brand.

Many companies in recent years have decided to renovate their logos, modernizing them to meet the needs of the contemporary world.

As mentioned, Coca-Cola has changed its logo and product styles over the years while maintaining a consistent line, creating a style that, though variables, is simultaneously unique and recognizable.

The global success of the brand can be attributed to various factors, including the association of red with Santa Claus, as well as family and warmth ideas. The continuous creation of new product lines (Coca-Cola Light, Zero, Life, etc.) and advertisements has changed the game forever through multimodal strategies involving logo lettering, slogans, and musical motifs.

Similarly, Pepsi, a real competitor to Coca-Cola, has updated its logo and visual identity. The first true update of the global image in 14 years, the new logo has many similarities to the one used in the 90s but incorporates highly modern elements.

A less frequent example of rebranding is that of Burger King. In 2021, the American fast-food chain renewed its image after 20 years. It appears to be a new beginning for Burger King, offering a cleaner, more minimalistic logo—a less dynamic, softer, and “slower” appearance, seeking to distance itself from the fast-food concept. This change is evident in the rounded lettering, font, and gradually introduced layout on websites and social media pages.

Indeed, the current market demands unparalleled adjustments in brand marketing or brand identity. With few exceptions, logos tend to be faster, more minimalistic, and completely detached from the classic style that everyone has become familiar with: “Less is more”.

Why is less better? According to some, it reflects the reduced time consumers spend in contact with a brand; brief contacts require a quick and dynamic use of information in the logo, which must be captured in a very short time. We have moved from spending time among newspapers and supermarkets to phones and websites, making it easy to lose a consumer’s interest. The desire to remain memorable persists, but the requirements for visual communication are changing.

According to some recent research conducted by Microsoft Canada, the average person’s attention span is gradually decreasing, reaching a historic minimum of 8 seconds now—less than many other animals. Therefore, it seems necessary to consider a logo change, transitioning from an incredibly detailed design to a brand with simple forms, incorporating fewer elements and specific colours.

An outstanding example of this revolutionary change is in the automotive industry, where brands have for years represented the transition to electric vehicles without sacrificing performance. The keywords are “streamline” for dynamism and “modernize” as more futuristic and technological elements are added to the cars. Specific colours like blue, black, or grey are prevalent, reminiscent of work attire, contributing to the idea of professionalism.

In Italy, the most famous case of rebranding in recent years was Barilla, symbolizing Italian excellence not only globally but also domestically. Barilla consistently introduces new packaging, eliminating every additional element in the brand—almost a form of “debranding”—leaving only a bold and recognizable font. An Italian brand that survives on its reputation, able to represent itself in the uniqueness (and simplicity) of its name.

Companies recognize the importance of developing a dynamic and modern visual identity to capture the attention of the young and tech-oriented audience, such as Gen Z. The main challenge is to communicate effectively with this new generation. This is reflected in this year’s rebranding efforts, characterized by youth expressions, vibrant and colourful styles, and a “light” approach. Each brand has reinvented its products and told new stories. For example, Ringo completely redesigned the type of biscuit and launched an advertising campaign with a pop/urban storytelling approach, using music from a well-known rapper to connect with the young audience. Engaging a younger audience means expanding the reach and becoming more appealing in a digital market dominated by the new generations.

Looking back, we’ve witnessed iconic transformations, and similarly, the current landscape is witnessing significant changes among brands navigating carefully between consumer trends and expectations. The future of companies is undoubtedly influenced by rebranding, which has the potential to showcase a brand’s sensitivity, creativity, and understanding of both the audience and the market.

In summary, rebranding is more than just a visual metamorphosis. It represents an interweaving of past, present, and future, defining the brand’s journey and the direction it takes.

Finding a logo that best represents you is not easy, especially considering that in the digital world, originality often escapes the lazy eye of the average user. You can contact us and rely on the Mediability team to create your new and original logo, giving you the online (and beyond) visibility, you need. Do not hesitate to reach us out for any communication or site/logo restyling needs.

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