Changing your visual identity is absolutely useless until you make it an absolute necessity for your brand. If you did not hear about the latest logo from Google, this is just a bit of recap for you
Too many companies fail to fully understand that a logo is a symbol of the relationship between the brand and the customer. It’s not just a new font, new colours, new spaces…Even more the logo is just the incarnation of the experience that the consumers can expect to get with your company. It’s just the visible part of the iceberg that makes everybody comfortable. The Baylor College of Medicine scanned the brains of volunteers as they drank samples of cola. When they were not identified, there was no preference. When shown the Coca Cola logo, their brains showed a decided preference for Coke irrespective of the cola they were drinking. What scientists have found is the brain takes short cuts when it processes information.
Why would you change the logo? Some people are talking about upgrading, refreshing, being updated with new communication formats, sharpening. It only created subjective love-hate reactions that fade away in a couple of days. Well, the only reason that I see, when a company wants to change its logo is when the brand culture is evolving. And that must be pretty clear not only in the visual identity but through all the company or brand’s behavior across the line. When Starbuck’s changed its logo, removing coffee and extending the siren, it was obviously meaning that the purpose of the company was starting to go far beyond the cup of coffee you enjoy in the morning.
That’s why, as well, a precise recognition of the logo should not affect the success of the brand. The main attributes are more than enough to make it through and develop the bonding with the consumers. One of my favorites examples is the experience that was run in UCLA, California in 2015 and was related in the HBR article ‘We can’t recall logos we see everyday’. 40 people were asked to design the Apple logo, from their memory. Only one of them could draft the logo quite precisely. Only 7 of them did less than 3 noticeable mistakes. Even more, only 47% could really identify the real logo from the others (slightly changed versions). We have to understand that we’re dealing with attentional saturation, that the brain is trained to let it go most of the time, to forget things that are not essential. And definitely, brands like Apple are well-known and visible everyday – but we tend to forget exactly how they exactly look like. But it does not matter. This is what is behind that counts.
This is the Apple logo and some of the results of the UCLA students (pretty interesting from people drawing their definite iconic brand from their part of the world)
So now, the real question is the following: what is happening today in Google to have decided to change the brand identity?