WRITTEN BY CHRIS MCKEOWN, SENIOR ART DIRECTOR AT KROW IRELAND

Brand new

With lots of companies taking the opportunity during the pandemic to do some restructuring and rethinking, we have seen some interesting brand developments. New processes, adjustments in work / life balance, remote working becoming permanent, global businesses giving up office space… fundamentally how we work has all changed forever. New ways of doing things has been the order of the day.

So, it’s not surprising to see many businesses have taken this time to relook and refresh their brand and their brand values. In some case’s this has been extreme, for others, almost a step backwards has created a fresh approach.

Simplicity and minimalism are the ‘new norm’ it seems. In January 2021, Kia motors revealed a new brand. Full of energy, forging a new direction. Replacing the oval lock-up with a completely new identity. Sharp, angles said to embody precision with grace. As they deliver ever more exciting new cars it now looks like the brand is ready to keep pace with Kia’s new promise of ‘movement that inspires’.

Not to be outdone BMW have also had a brand refresh. Gone is the outdated 3D look and here to stay is a more simplified 2D version of their identity.  Undoubtedly making the brand much more user friendly for digital application.

The digital brands have also seen much change over the past 13 months. GoDaddy’s freehand type and smiling man in sunglasses always looked rough and ready. A little temporary. This was in keeping with the brands risqué approach over the 90’s and 00’s. Now GoDaddy has grown up with a new simplified brand. Perhaps not instantly clear at first glance, the ‘G’ and ‘O’ form a heart shape. Part of GoDaddy’s ethos of empowering you to ‘GO’ do what you love, ‘GO’ after your dreams, ‘GoDaddy’.

The King of burgers (in the opinion of my taste buds) has unveiled its first complete rebrand in over 20 years. Burger King’s new brand gets its inspiration from the past, 1969 to be precise. Paying homage to the brand heritage the new identity is an updated version of the logo created in 1969 and used until 1998, with a few tweaks in colour and the new font to make this old identity… well, new. This visual representational of a burger with the logo type housed between two buns is certainly fun and, as with so many other brands recently, a much more digital friendly execution.

A little closer to home, Dale Farm’s new brand is a dramatic change, which comes after 50 years!

Gone is the familiar lock-up with type set above merging pastures. Replaced with a completely new logo. Simplified but still retains the light-hearted friendly feel with its tilted ‘e’. This new brand looks like it will be much easier to integrate into the communication, packaging and roll out across all their consumer touch points. For me… I think it’s great. And great to see an iconic brand like Dale Farm embracing change.

As we all know, there are many reasons to change your brand identity, but I believe it is very much a case of; ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. A new identity could be the way forward if your old one is over complicated or if it no longer represents your values or vision. Or indeed if it doesn’t reflect how your business now operates in this new world we find ourselves in. Sometimes a fresh new look is actually going back to your old look. These simple, little changes could be enough to differentiate you from the competition. Ultimately as businesses develop to these new ways of working so their brand identities should reflect these changes. Brand new? Perhaps not completely necessary. New Brand to reflect your new values? Absolutely.

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