In light of our own rebrand journey, we wanted to bring you some inspirational rebranding success stories. We announced whom we are working with to rebrand our new identity last week. If you haven’t read the blog yet click here. What’s in a brand identity? Before these seven companies became the international powerhouses, they are today, these businesses reviewed customer demands and rebranded themselves.
Examples of Interesting & Successful Rebranding
In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger started Burbn a location-based app allowing users to make future plans, hang out with friends and post pictures. However, the app was too complex to understand, they needed to declutter the app.
Through market research Instagram found people loved to post photos on Burbn after running them through photo filter apps. Burbn decided to focus on this one thing. They created a new app that did one thing-posted photos. Apply a filter, post, comment, like and done. The rest is history.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated “We decided that if we were going to build a company, we wanted to focus on being really good at one thing…We actually got an entire version of Burbn done as an iPhone app, but it felt cluttered, and overrun with features”. “It was really difficult to decide to start from scratch, but we went out on a limb, and basically cut everything in the Burbn app except for its photo, comment, and like capabilities. What remained was Instagram.”
Within 2 months of launching Instagram, it became a huge success acquiring over 1 million users. Now as of February 2020, the photo sharing social media platform has over one billion monthly active users. Instagram continued to change and improve the platform to continue to facilitate the popularity and growth of the app.
In 2016 Instagram unveiled a new logo design. The new modern camera with a rainbow gradient emphasises the ‘less is more’ trend which correlates with their goals for user experience. An easy logo for an easy to use app.
In 2016, Ireland’s largest telecommunications company Eircom shortened its name to Eir. This became one of the largest rebranding strategies in Ireland in the last 20 years. Eir stated the change is a major milestone which reflects the dynamism and confidence of the company. The consumer and business divisions within the old Eircom brand adopted the new Eir brand. The telecom giant upgraded its broadband services but also streamlined its business structure. Eir transformed their brand identity to modernise the look and feel of the group.
In a statement released by Eir, CEO Richard Moat stated “We have changed and our customer focus is changing. The evolution of the products and services that we offer to our customers continues at pace. The new eir identity is dynamic and modern. It reflects our real ambition to become just that, a dynamic and progressive Irish organisation providing the high quality infrastructure and services the country needs and deserves. Changing our brand is part of that evolution. The marketplace has changed, technologies have changed, eircom as a company has changed and we have to continue to evolve, to maintain our relevance and lead a very dynamic market.”
The new Eir name and design were implemented across all agencies. In total 63 stores were revamped, new uniforms, new web page designs and newly branded Eir vans to maintain a consistent look and feel going forward in the future.
Eir is a Cartolytics client, we help Eir create bespoke reports, access data analytics with accurate data reports, manage workflow and quality management to name a few.
In 2008, Airbnb was launched by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk. An online marketplace for people to list their owned or rented properties. Airbnb has acquired over 150 million users and hosted over 400 million guests on its platform. The astronomical growth of the online marketplace led Airbnb to strategically begin laying the foundations for a marketing slew of new sharing economy services in the future. Airbnb embarked on a year long partnership to change their brand and help realise its vision of becoming the world’s first community superbrand.
In 2014, Airbnb trended on Twitter for 8 hours, the launch of the rebrand created a global conversation. The old logo was changed, new photography, a new font used, and bespoke colour called Rausch. The colour was named in honour of the street where the story of Airbnb started, symbolising the narrative of the brand. The new identity was applied to the website and mobile apps, the environments where most people interact with the brand. CEO Brian Chesky stated “I feel our brand of yesterday was starting to hold back our ability to go mainstream and limiting people’s idea of what it could become. This new branding changes the whole identity and expression of the company”
The new icon ‘The Bélo’ highlighted four principles – People, Places, Love, and Airbnb, blended into a single “A” shape. For Airbnb, rebranding meant to define a clear brand message that would be easy to comprehend, welcoming and appeal to its audience. They launched a piece of software that would allow hosts to tailor the Airbnb logo to create their own version. And to take it one step further, hosts can even have their version of the logo printed onto cups, t-shirts, stickers and a range of other materials. The Bélo became something Airbnb’s community of hosts could share and take ownership of.
With 4 million listings in 191 countries, Airbnb has changed how the world travels. The create proposition ‘Belong Anywhere’ and the Bélo have become globally recognised symbols of belonging. The Airbnb rebrand created the platform to support their growth. Withing 2 years of the rebrand revenue at Airbnb increased by 80%. The rebrand allowed the company to project a new image that would fulfil their global potential by engaging both hosts and travellers.
4. Premier League
The Premier League is the top level of English professional soccer league system. Established in 1992, the Premier League is owned by its own 20 member clubs that act as shareholders. In February 2016, the Premier League announced their first rebranding in a decade. A new visual identity following previous title sponsor Barclays departure at the end of the season.
The premier leagues organisers tasked a design studio to create a modern and flexible new visual identity for the 2016/2017 season. For designers’ sports teams are the perfect use case for branding to shine. They are a place where logos, identity design, colour combinations, apparel, photograph and video all flourish. The overarching goal was to achieve a cultural shift for Premier League and address the misconceptions surrounding the organisation.
Lead designer Paul Stafford from the Design Studio said “Our aim was to create an identity that acknowledges everyone who plays a part in one of the most exciting leagues in the world and with a fresh new take on the iconic lion, we’ve created an identity that’s purpose-built for the demands of the modern world, while staying true to the premier league’s history and heritage”.
The new bold and vibrant identity, includes a modern take on the lion icon – a symbol that is part of the competition’s heritage. Premier League rebranded with a digital and broadcast-first approach to make it work as an app icon. The new app icon is simplified with the lion prominent. The soccer ball was also removed from the logo completely to simplify the design. This rebranding keeps with the growing design trend of no longer needing design elements, icons or symbols to define what they are.
The colour palette compromised of five bold colours-purple, sky blue, magenta yellow and lime green in a distinct lower-case font. The new identity is a modern rejuvenation of the previous all capital font with blue and white corporate look of previous Barclay sponsors. The colour palette will be updated every three years to keep the modern appeal in future.
The Premier League is known to have the best player, best teams and now possibly the best design to match, setting the tone for sport.
The pioneer web portal and search engine Yahoo announced its latest re branding in 2019, the third rebrand in 10 years. Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo were PhD students at Stanford when they created what would become one of the world’s largest search engines ‘Jerry’s Guide’ which was soon renamed to Yahoo. In 2009 Yahoo first updated the old red logo by flattening it and changing the logo to purple. In 2013, under a new CEO Marissa Meyer, its quirky logo got a trendy cooperate design.
In 2019, under new ownership Verizon who acquired Yahoo in 2016, the third rebrand of the company took place. The ‘Project Purple’ redesign to refresh Yahoos identity using its signature colour purple since 2003.
The latest Yahoo logo keeps the purple and exclamation point but ditches any reminders of the company’s previous signature marks. The minimal rebranding changes keep up with the current trend of the internet as free flowing information rather than novelty. The exclamation point is italicised for emphasis a symbolic part of the brand logo since its founding. The typography is slanted at a 22.5 degree angle that suggests a sense of momentum and excitement. Yahoo’s new logo is ultra flexible and is a welcomed throwback to the quirky 1996 logo. Designer Mark Bierut remarked “the exclamation mark’s exaggerated italic treatment helps bracket the wordmark with two strong diagonals and calls back to the Looney Toons-style charm of the original 90s mark”.
The Huff Post is global media platform, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for national reporting in the US. With over 200 million active monthly users the platform includes news, lifestyle, entertainment and commentary content.
When new editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen was appointed in 2017 at The Huffington Post, the iconic New York newspaper was rebranded to Huff Post. A dramatic revamp of its traditional visual identity. This included the website’s first ever redesign in its 12 year history, a new logo and a name change across all platforms. Rebranding reflected the departure of namesake founder Arianna Huffington and changes within the business with a new leadership team.
The new brand identity was employed to represent the dedication to authentic and accessible news. A vivid rebranding of the company’s identity as the leader in providing people with real, transparent news and information in relevant, accessible and fun ways. Jared Grusd, Chief Executive of HuffPost, said: “Today, we make a decided leap into our future. “The rebrand and relaunch of our products symbolise our commitment to continually evolve to help our audiences connect with a world that is changing rapidly around them”.
The new name uses a bold sans serif font, starkly different from its previous logo. A stark transformation from the previous logo reminiscent of a tabloid newspaper banner. Julia Beizer Head of Product, says the forward slash shape brackets “symbolises the company’s movement forward” and “subtly pays homage to our heritage as the first scaled digital-only news brand by evoking the forward slash found in URLs”. The ‘slash’ device is applied to headlines, bookending the text, but also stands alone as the ‘H’ app icon. The brackets also use a brighter, neon version of its signature green. The social icon for the HuffPost reduces the name down to a green square forming an abstract forward slash ‘H’.
CEO, Grusd states the updated identity “reflects our bold promise to help readers know what’s real and what really matters”. All 17 of the international editions carry the new logo and branding with a full redesign rolled out for each edition.
Google Android is a mobile operating system designed for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The operating system has over 2 billion users worldwide.
In 2019, Android unveiled a massive rebranding of the operating system. Googles Lead Brand Creative Sydney Thomashow comments “in thinking about the brand, we wanted to make sure that we are as accessible and inclusive as possible.”
Android acknowledged tasty treat version names were hard to pronounce and even unheard of in a lot of regions. Some colourblind people don’t interpret certain shades of green correctly. In order to represent a global brand, a shift was needed to cater for a truly global audience.
Google determined the signature green identity isn’t the optimal colour for a global brand. The most common form of colourblindness is red-green colourblindness, which can make certain shades of green hard to see. Android introduced additional shades of blue to the yellow-green colours they had started out with. This allowed the brand to match more closely with Google’s company branding and gave more opportunity to mix the signature green with other colours for things like visual assets and packaging.
Android had to rethink both the mascot, robot Andy and wordmark. The initial branding of Android was fragmented. Google realized the Android mascot and wordmark needed to appear in one image to fit the branding together. Android made small tweaks to the wordmark making it thinner, more geometric and modern. Curves are added to the wordmark to make it feel more like the Android robot itself. The curve of the ‘o’ in the wordmark even had the same radius as Andy’s head, a subtle transformation that signified the new design identity. The robot head instead of the full body of the mascot makes the robot more expressive while using fewer elements.
Traditionally, Android named its versions after tasty treats such as Kit Kat, Oreo or Eclair. Android aimed to make the brand more accessible and agreed treats names don’t work well in the global market. Android moved away from treat based named version to number versions. Later this year the Android 11 is expected to launch.
Implementing a successful rebranding strategy can be a proactive solution to incite business growth and expand in new markets. Rebranding based on in-depth market research gives customers something new and improved.
We’re excited to be re-designing our brand and are committed to build a better process platform for everyone. To see updates, on our progress, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: @cartolytics.