5 Examples Of Awesome Brand Refreshes, Part 1

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Is your brand due for a refresh? And what can we learn from other brands who’ve recently refreshed or updated their looks? Today, we’ll take a look at five killer brand refreshes and what made them particularly effective.

Advertising Age Keeps The Look Current

Since its launch in 1930, Advertising Age has been the news source of record for the advertising and marketing universe. Charting the rise and fall of agencies, personnel shifts, and industry news, Advertising Age has also served a stage for introducing and dissecting the campaigns and brand identities we know and love.

The logo is often the most visible manifestation of brand. And as you can see below, Advertising Age has made the decision to update its logo to reflect typefaces that were in vogue for their decades.

Source: Advertising Age, 9/27/17

Compare this with the instantly recognizable masthead from the New York Times. The hand-modified Old English Blackletter most recently modified by Ed Benguiat in 1966 communicates a built-in weight and credibility that only comes with time.

Source: The New York Times

The Takeaway: We can’t all be the NYT. Keep your look fresh and current.

Airbnb’s Look Grows Up

Airbnb’s value proposition — lower cost overnight lodging by renting regular people’s rooms or houses — was interestingly offbeat when the online hospitality company launched in 2008. Their initial logo treatment was fun, fresh, and casual. Perfect for what the brand needed to communicate to its largely millennial user base.


Source: UnderConsideration.com

But when your brand grows from an interesting alternative to hotels to the total lodging industry disruptor it is today, it needs to convey a certain amount of stability and seriousness to its more mainstream audience and investors.  

The Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to mature your look. Largely lauded by designers and the industry alike, Airbnb managed to thread the needle that is leaving your launch logo behind and putting on the “big-kid clothes” of a less fanciful, more straightforward look.

MTV Makes It Official

When it launched in late summer of 1981, Music Television (MTV) was a novel concept that set the music industry on its ear. The idea of running music videos—little movies that accompanied pop songs—24 hours a day seemed outlandish at the time.  But MTV quickly grew into the popular tastemaker for pop, rock, and rap.

Over time, though, MTV moved away from wall-to-wall music programming (Oh 120 Minutes, how we miss you) to scripted reality, sketch comedy, and current events program, Music Television became increasingly less applicable to the 18-25 year-olds who were tuning in.

In fact, ask viewers of a certain age “Remember when you used to be able to see music on MTV?” and you’re likely to get a blank stare.

So MTV made the decision to lean into the reality of what it had become, dropping the words “Music Television” from its logo to more align with the MTV its viewers know.

Source: Inspiration Feed

The Takeaway: Embrace the change when the time comes. If what your company is now has changed substantially since your launch, your look and logo need to keep up.

Coming Next:

Two More Examples of Awesome Brand Refreshes and Guidance on Whether a Brand Refresh or a Brand Launch Makes The Most Sense for Your Business.



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