At Tomango we make it a daily ritual to check industry-related websites to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, technology and design.
This process allows us to get both inspiration and valuable insight from innovative brand, web and marketing campaigns we see. This might eventually feed into something we do for one of our own clients - or, alternatively, help us understand what to avoid entirely!
Of the various elements of what we do, brand design is far and away the one that brings the most conversation to Tomango HQ.
A brand or logo, for better or worse, will inevitably bring a instinctive emotional response from people. Hopefully, if the job’s done right, it’s the right response…but not always.
Last month saw a seemingly massive number of brand updates and redesigns. So many, in fact, that it led to one journalist tweet the following…
SO EVERYONE IS REBRANDING TODAY.— John McCarthy (@JohnGeeMcCarthy) September 26, 2018
I HAVE A MAG FEATURE TO FINISH.
We listed around 20 brands of note in September. We’ve reduced this down, each picked our favourite or the most notable - good or bad - and created our first monthly branding roundup.
It’s fair to say that the ridesharing company have had their fare share of bad press over the past few years.
They last had a major rebrand just two years ago. Since then they have, among other things, been through a major sexual harassment and workplace culture scandal, had a couple of data breaches, and been fined by the US Government for underpaying drivers.
Perhaps it’s no surprise they, quite literally, went back to the drawing board with their branding.
The company has ditched their circular motif and gone back to a wordmark, as well as producing a comprehensive briefing document laying out a number of brand implementations.
“Probably my favourite of all the rebrands. Uber’s new design has a big ‘travel’ feel to it.
I especially like the use of the U negative space in the ads, videos and social media material. All the new iconography that has been designed for the app, and the new typeface all works really well together. There is a sense of movement with the new branding, I like the logic behind the new logo, combing straight lines and curved lines to represent a straight road, roundabout or slip-road.”
Liam Cornford, Tomango Designer
While the overarching trend for online brand design at present is to keep it relatively simplistic, email service provider Mailchimp have gone sprinting in the other direction.
In a full-scale rejigging of their logo, website, typeface and colours, the most striking difference is the introduction of a number of illustrations.
According to Gene Lee, Mailchimp Vice President of Design, the redesign looks to “retain all the weird, lovable elements that endeared our earliest customers to Mailchimp, while creating space for the brand to grow and connect with even more small businesses.”
When it comes to their website, their redesign is one of the best examples of online value proposition you’re ever likely to see on the internet.
When a prospect visits your site, you want to tell them everything they need to know about you.
The average attention span for a visitor to your website can be measured in seconds. That’s not long to work with, so having an effective OVP is crucial.
Within seconds of landing on the Mailchimp homepage you are hit with both why you should start using their product and how it can transform your business.
An extremely well-designed, clear and effective OVP indeed!
“This one’s a bit nuts isn’t it?”
“Mailchimp should be applauded for doing something different - which is the approach they’ve taken with their branding right from their early days. Where they’ve gone, others have followed.
It certainly positions them as a business that truly believes in their original culture, as opposed to many other tech companies that have gone all grown-up.”
Mark Vaesen, Tomango Managing Director
There’s genuinely enough examples of football clubs rebranding their image that there could actually be a lengthy monthly blog series on that topic alone.
Just in September we had the unveiling of the crest of David Beckham’s Inter Miami, a rebrand of the Women’s Football League, a temporary PR-led rejigging of National League sponsors Vanarama, and FC Barcelona’s simplification of their historic crest to make it ‘work’ better digitally.
Rebranding a football crest is a dangerous endeavour. Football clubs can be a source of local civic pride, and support of a team can be passed down from generation to generation.
The emotional bond formed between fan and team something that most corporate boardrooms could only dream of; it’s therefore no surprise that some attempts at a rebrand (see Leeds United’s recent effort) can be met with derision and ridicule.
Wolves were looking for a fresh approach to how they communicated both on and offline to a modern and global audience - especially important with the team returning to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season.
The suite of marketing assets they have devised avoid some of the pitfalls other clubs have found in the past. First, the main club crest has remained untouched, and has instead been used as the inspiration for a three-dimensional brand property. Similarly, the existing colour palette has been utilised across all the assets.
“This is a fantastic example of a football club finally getting a brand refresh correct and not managing to piss off their entire fanbase. It’s modern, it’s bold, and it’s very aesthetically pleasing.
As the club has used what they already had available to them as a starting point, rather than throwing it all out and redesigning from scratch, they have avoided the bad PR that can come with flippantly tampering with something that isn’t just a representation of the club, but the personal identity of thousands of fans.”
Tom Ruzyllo, Tomango Digital Marketing Manager
Dunkin Donuts / Dunkin’
Shortening a brand name and dropping ‘pigeonhole’ words can be a simple but effective tactic to broaden appeal among consumers. As a company develops and improves their offering beyond what might have been initial focus (in this case doughnuts), repositioning in this way can help realign them and cater for wider expectations that have gradually built over time.
Dunkin Donuts, for example, has around three fifths of their revenue come from drinks sales. With this in mind, the American doughnut chain dropped half of its name to reflect that they ‘do more than just donuts’.
The move is reminiscent of coffee behemoth Starbucks, who made a similar move in 2011 (they had previously been ‘Starbucks Coffee’).
A full rollout date for the change has been set for January 2019.
“This rebrand is more than just a cosmetic change, it’s designed to transform the company into the on-the-go brand. Dropping the word ‘Donuts’ will allow Dunkin’ more flexibility and growth potential in the future.
This is a great example of how companies are increasingly putting value on shorter, snappier monikers. I’m looking forward to seeing how this is rolled out across different touch points.”
Mike Vine, Tomango Creative Director