Evolution -vs- Revolution
We’ve found over the years that every important conversation with potential new clients can fit into a few specific themes. One of the most important of these themes deals with the concept of brand evolution verses brand revolution.
A brand is a living thing. As such, there are some implications:
It has a distinct personality
It can interrelate with people
It needs to be cared for to stay healthy
It can (and should) grow and change 👈
For the purpose of this entry, we’ll focus on the last implication.
“We don’t need a branding agency, we already have a logo we love!”
This misconception of not needing a branding agency because you already love your logo can easily be dispelled by the understanding that your brand IS alive AND it’s much bigger and deeper than the logo. Just as people are not defined solely by their outward appearance, brands are not just their pretty exterior (bad for Jason Momoa, good for me!). Think of it this way: What hair cut did you have at age 5? Age 17? Age 32? Did you have a goth phase? Are you still wearing that earring you HAD to have? For brands to thrive, they must accept that their logo– part of their outward appearance–might need to change to respond to challenges and opportunities in the world around them–just like people. And, just like people, every brand does this differently.
It’s not an exact science, but it is evolution verses revolution; a spectrum that every brand is on, and as things happen, the world changes, brands’ outward appearances adapt and respond accordingly. We’ll use two well known examples to illustrate the paradigm.
Obviously a very consistent brand with a very strong sense of purpose. They’ve evolved over time to capitalize on trends and opportunities. There was the original rainbow logo, then chrome, to the now black or white… you get the picture. That’s Evolution. They changed subtly over time as they matured as a brand and as trends came and went.
In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico was covered in oil from a BP oil spill. This, along with heavy pressure from an increasingly environmentally conscious public, meant they needed to reposition themselves. They responded with wholesale change. From an aggressive shield, to sunburst flower with “bp” as a scientific notation. Save for the brand’s yellow and green, they changed significantly. That’s Revolution.
So, if your brand is alive and you want it to grow–or at the very least, stay alive–you should constantly be evaluating what the right answer is for your organization:
Where does your brand belong?