…and a brand has to have a clear reason, driven by its purpose, for changing it.
As a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition, a brand’s logo carries with it an association for the central brand message.
So when a brand needs to evolve to maintain relevance, it’s important that a change is thoughtfully conceived in full consideration of what a brand stands for and wants to say to the world.
We’ve recently made the switch at Avon to a new logo, which i’ll share later in this post. As part of the team evolving this iconic brand, I was inspired to see all sorts of live examples of other brands making such moves out there. I’m conscious on just how significant such changes can be for a brand.
Here are a few examples I’ve been reflecting where brands have made a change to their logo. First, the re-branding effort of Weight Watchers…
The intention behind this shift was to respond to the cultural move away from ‘weight management’ towards more ‘holistic wellness’. With a new tagline of “Wellness that Works”, this redesign is meant to signal a shift towards a modern interpretation of self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Design-wise, the logo itself shifted to become a ‘marque’, setting the brand up to stand for more, representing a lifestyle, not just a functional product for weight control.
What is also curious to me is the use of the blue color. As per the color emotion guide below courtesy of the Huffington Post, Blue is deliberately used by brands to connote trust. An emotion that is clearly a focus for WW.
In this particular case the logo change is symbolic of a fundamental business shift and it was unfortunately perceived by some to signify that they were abandoning ‘weight control’ altogether – the very reason much of their member base continues to support them. As such the move may be too drastic for some of their audience and hasn’t effectively captured a message that both existing and new member audiences could embrace.
This case taught me a lot about the careful act of re-branding. A change to a logo can be a powerful signal of something more, something intrinsic to a brand’s message. Even with all the best intentions, it should therefore only be executed when that message is clear, with conviction behind what the brand stands for and a clear story to tell.
Another brand that shifted their logo to incorporate color and feature a visual they have invested in building recognition of is MailChimp. Their new logo gives the company’s mascot, Freddie, a permanent spot in the design and changed from a script typeface to a blocky, cartoon style in lowercase letters (note the no-longer-capitalized “C”). The brand also adopted a cheerful new color: Yellow. As per the color emotion guide, Yellow connotes optimism, which is also central to the brand essence. This example was a less controversial move vs WW, but nevertheless interesting and quite dramatic shift in logo design.
A final example that I found inspiring was that of the iconic fashion brand, Burberry. It changed its logo for the first time in 20 years, to a heavier modern typeface, replaced the traditional serif wordmark, and also gave the “London, England” portion of the logo the sans-serif treatment and axed the comma. I found this an interesting example of a brand modernizing itself, where the typeface really transforms the visual identity dramatically.
So when it came to making the change at Avon, it was important to carefully ground ourselves in what the brand stands for and what a logo change was aiming to achieve. The Avon brand has always been a brand that has championed inclusivity and opportunity; it has been empowering women to make a living for themselves for over 130 years, long before they even had the right to vote. It has also always been a brand fueled by an empowered, vibrant and passionate community; socially engaged and eager to make a positive impact on the world and people around them. And Avon is at its core a beauty brand; first established selling fragrance door-to-door and as a pioneer with beauty firsts from AHA cream or matte lipstick. Avon has also always met women where they are, the very nature of how its business model was derived is evidence of that.
With a new CEO who is injecting a new lease of life into the brand, having built a solid modern foundation operationally over the past couple of years, and now with new products to sell that are contemporary, it is time to shake things up with a new identity. It’s all part of the journey of ensuring relevance for our audience today, continuing to meet women where they are.
The existing logo and brand tagline projected a sleek, corporate view of what the brand stood for. Reflecting on all the above, and with an understanding of how important authenticity and inclusivity is in today’s world, this design and message no longer serves the brand justice.
Actually going back to the brand mark from the 1970’s we saw a more approachable design which gave our creative team inspiration to draw from to craft a new, contemporary logo that brings us into a more modern aesthetic while drawing from a familiar foundation.
Pink has always been a color associated with the brand, and now the bold, yet soft underline incorporates it into the logo. This line is not solid, rigid and perfect; it is soft, almost hand-drawn, and vibrant in color, connoting a youthful quality that marks a modern stamp for the brand.
The tag line of ‘Live Beautifully’ also now feels less ‘corporate’. It speaks to a positive affirmation of the brand mission. A shared mission, a philosophy by which our community lives; and a message that connects seamlessly with who we are – an inclusive, vibrant, inspiring community passionate about beauty.
I’m proud of the changes we’ve made here, and early feedback from our community is positive too. This is just one of several changes coming. An exciting time to be part of such a brand transformation. It’s been incredible to be part of this and I hope this logo lasts and sees the brand into its next epic stage in its journey.