Am I the only one feeling that there is a “New” trend in the Branding/Identity market? Now every company wants to get closer to its consumer, feel more “aproachable”, get rid of the “serious” face and clean their lines. Some launch “funny” (not really) advertising campaigns, some rebrand their motos, other just change their logo. I personaly don’t like trends. I break the rules, the trends, the predetermined ideas, some times the brief. I just want to create original content in the style I want and the client needs. Following trends leads to homogeanous ambient. I like it messy and original.
Today this post is more meaningfull, more full of information and text. If you don’t want to read it feel free. I understand it’s rather a long post. The text is based on an article I saw.
MasterCard unveiled its new logo earlier this summer, and as far as rebrandings go, the tweaks were subtle: The company kept its overlapping red and yellow circles, droped the “striped” effect and moved its name, which was previously in the front and center, to beneath the circles, while making the text lowercase. MasterCard said, they launched the brief to Pentagram for them to turn the brand into a more simple, seamless, digital and aproachable image.
MasterCard’s move reflects a wider shift among some of the most widely recognized global brands to de-emphasize the text in their logos, or remove it altogether. Nike was among the first brands to do this, in 1995, when its swoosh began to appear with the words “Just Do It,” and then without any words at all. Apple, McDonald’s, and other brands followed a similar trajectory, gravitating toward entirely textless logos after a period of transition with logos that had taglines like “Think Different” or “I’m lovin’ it.”
This change is obviously in accordance with a more streamlined approach to design, as well as certain features of the modern economy: Symbols work better than long names on computer screens and apps, and they allow for greater flexibility if a company wants to be represented in multiple industries at once. For instance, names like Starbucks Coffee and MasterCard are tied to specific products in ways that symbols are not, which can be a disadvantage at a time when it’s perfectly plausible for a company that makes phones to make cars too.
But perhaps the most powerful impetus for these slimmed-down logos is that it’s increasingly more difficult to reach buyers when so many of them are skeptical of big corporations. A recent survey by the public-relations firm Cohn & Wolfe found that four-fifths of global consumers now consider brands neither open nor honest. “Consumers are jaded about advertising in a way they weren’t several decades ago,” says Adam Alter, an associate professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, via email. “It is harder to appeal to them than it used to be, and they tend to see through overt marketing pitches.” That has in turn led to a new arsenal of branding tactics. “Companies have had to learn subtlety,” Alter says.
To captivate the so skeptical buyers of big corporations, brands and design studios do, what’s called “debranding” or “decorporatizing”. Some marketers believe that debranding can make global brands appear “less corporate” and “more personal” to consumers. Nameless logos can evoke more personal and immediate reactions—which is important in a media environment with plenty of possible distractions and diversions. In short, it is easier to make associations based on two bright, primary-colored circles than it is with the word MasterCard. Like people will forget the things they don’t liked about the brand because now, suddenly, the brand doesn’t have a name…..
The need to get personal and friendly is particularly directed to young people, the target market of many global consumer-product enterprises. It’s likely that this factor led MasterCard’s decision to rebrand. As an increasing number of consumers (especially we young people) prefer to make transactions on their phones rather than using cash or cards. One worry for MasterCard’s investors is that the company hasn’t fully broken into the mobile-payments market yet. By contrast, PayPal—another brand that carried out a visual refresh a few years ago in which it de-emphasized its name on its logo—enjoys a substantial Millennial user base, a good portion of which is loyal to Venmo, a popular mobile-payment app that PayPal acquired.
The benefits of debranding can be huge. One of the most successful executions of it has been the “Share a Coke” promotion, for which Coca-Cola replaced its name on bottles with people’s first names, like Sarah and David, and other everyday monikers, like Mom and Dad. The campaign increased Coca-Cola’s U.S. sales by more than 2 percent and, in doing so, helped reverse more than 10 years of decline in Coke consumption in the U.S. Talk about good marketeers. There money was well spent.
The advertising industry likes to call this type of marketing “authentic.” Cohn & Wolfe compiles an annual list of the “world’s most authentic brands,” drawing on surveys of nearly 12,000 consumers in 14 countries. This year’s Top 20 includes Paypal and MasterCard, as well as Coca-Cola. Authenticity, of course, is a funny thing when it comes to marketing: Asserting one’s authenticity feels, well, inauthentic. At a time when consumers are placing more and more importance on companies that feel genuine rather than corporate, it makes all too much sense that marketers would start trying to make it more difficult to distinguish between the two.