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Brand Tweaks: Do They Matter?

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As a brand developer, I’m always intrigued to watch a company rebrand or refresh its visual identity. I love dissecting the logo design and learning about the meaning behind it. And I’m not the only one. Anytime a well-known company changes its visual identity, the buzz on the Web is inevitable. Sometimes the feedback is good and sometimes it’s not. But what happens when a rebrand is so subtle, it’s hardly noticeable at all. Well, nothing goes unnoticed these day and there’s never a lack of feedback.

But what does the change mean to the consumer? Is it just a pointless tweak that nobody will care about?

Take MailChimp for example (http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672938/the-anatomy-of-a-successful-logo-redesign). The previous logo has a unique handwritten script feel to it. The new one has that same handwritten script, but with several minor adjustments to the height, curvature and flow of the type so the “logo redesign” looks much more refined. Sure you can notice the change when the logos are side by side, but if you saw the old logo one day and the new one the next, would you notice a change? Probably not.

Facebook recently rebranded too. I could argue that more people would notice this change more than MailChimp’s simply because more people look at it every day. Also, the “a” in the logo changes a good bit. Overall, though, the change is subtle and many people will not even notice unless someone tells them it changed.

Google is another example, but their changes were much more subtle than the previous two examples. In fact, you probably had no idea Google refreshed its brand last year. The change consisted of moving the lowercase “g” one pixel to the right and the “l” one pixel down and to the right, so the bottom now lines up with the bottom of the “e”. Unlike Facebook and MailChimp, you can hardly notice the difference, even with the old and new logo side by side.

So the question is, why change the logo at all? With changes so subtle, will the general public even notice unless you point it out to them (even then, it’s hard to notice the differences)?

Here’s some explanations. MailChimp needed its logo to be more recognizable even in its smallest environments. Facebook needed a brand look that was cleaner, crisper and easier to read for mobile viewers. And Google…well, you can look up everyone’s guesses online when you have a free moment.

The visual tweaks look good, but the thing that impressed me the most was their attention to detail. The fact that these companies took the time to refine their logos speaks to their commitment to the excellence of their brand.

Just think, if Google cares enough to slightly shift a couple letters of their logo to make it perfect, then imagine how much attention they give to every other area of their business. They are still the number one search engine used with over 1 billion unique visitors a month. I see a similar commitment to excellence from MailChimp and Facebook. In my opinion, the MailChimp’s experience far exceeds that of it’s competitors: Constant Contact and iContact to name a couple. And while I’m not a huge fan of Facebook for my personal leisure, I can’t deny that they are one of the biggest social monsters in our world. Attention to detail at every customer touch point has positioned these companies above their competitors.

What about you? What about your brand? Do you have the same attention to detail?  I challenge you (and I challenge myself) to commit to excellence and let it show through your brand.

Andra Martin

Accounting Assistant

ShowCase Marketing