New brand or rebrand? A few recent big brand refreshes. 

It takes a lot of hard yakka to become an iconic brand. Building trust, developing recognition and nurturing die-hard brand loyalty takes time, and you don’t want to risk losing that connection.

But when does ‘iconic and enduring’ turn into ‘tired and boring’?

Brands with staying power are always treading a fine line between familiarity and freshness, constantly responding to market changes and consumer demands. Here are some recent(ish) examples of brands keeping up with the times.

eftpos

If you hadn’t noticed, eftpos got a facelift. After decades as the instantly recognisable symbol of electronic payment for most Australians, the maroon bank card and 90s tech font have been relegated to history.

To kick off their two-year digital strategy, eftpos launched a rebrand with vibrant colours and a sweeping new approach to the iconic ‘e’, celebrating it as a “dynamic, energetic visual cue to emphasise a fresh, distinctive and meaningful representation of the way Australians live their busy lives.”

Whether or not you feel the same way about the ‘e’, there’s no doubt their new brand direction is making a statement – as is their tagline. No longer “Helping with everyday”, eftpos is boldly now “Good for Australia.”

Freedom Furniture

Another longstanding Australian brand, Freedom Furniture recently unveiled an unexpected new logo. This direction was a sharp break from the past, from lowercase to all-caps, delicate curves to a bold, heavy font, and they dropped the tri-colour flourish for simple black. It’s clean and it has impact, but it means dropping their ownable colour palette completely.

It’s a calculated risk – will the new direction appeal to fresh eyes, or have they lost the visual ‘hook’ that helped them stand out and be memorable? Time will tell.

Kia

From electric cars to in-built entertainment systems, consumers are more interested in vehicles with progressive tech and innovation. Reliability and reputation are still factors, but car companies can’t afford to seem anything less than cutting edge.

Kia has recently made a statement about their commitment to innovation with their first new logo since 1994, coinciding with their announcement for their 2021 electric vehicle roll-out. The logo moved from the old elliptical frame to the stark efficiency of striking lines, accompanied by a new tagline, “Movement that Inspires”.

Out with the old?

Naturally, brands need to stay relevant and find new ways to connect with their audience, especially if they have a big new message to share.

Rebranding can sometimes feel like the easiest solution to the challenge of changing markets and industries, but it can come at the cost of losing longstanding brand equity. Handled poorly, it can take a long time to rebuild connection with customers.

Sometimes a brand needs a complete overhaul, sometimes it needs just a few tweaks here and there. After all, you have to be careful when messing with a classic.

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