It’s been over two years since the pandemic. Two years of disruption. Two years of brands having to pivot and realign their strategies, and two years of near-constant change.
The pandemic forced brands, especially tech businesses, to deliver their services with a digital-first approach. If previously, they had relied on in-person experiences to drive impact, they now had to digitalize all those experiences. The result was that tech service providers did not just have to rediscover themselves; they had to rapidly reimagine themselves.
Simplify, Declutter, Demystify and Rebrand: Brand Trends for 2022
In this shifting landscape, some brands have armed themselves with four tools:
This year, brands have shown a marked shift toward simplification. Some brands have even gone as far as to ‘debrand’ themselves. The most famous example may be Facebook changing to Meta last year. A shorter brand name? Yes, why not? It’s simpler, and brands are thriving on simplicity these days. Autodesk, in September last year, said that it was ‘reimagining’ its brand with a ‘strong, simple logo.’ And the same year, TransferWise shortened its name to Wise, signifying through the simpler name that it now offered a more complex suite of services than just money transfers.
Decluttering is another trend that brands are utilizing to reinvent themselves. What does decluttering have to do with branding? Ask Pringles, which changed its logo by removing the hair on its mascot! In the brand’s words, that change was done keeping simplicity in mind.
And in keeping with the ‘simplify’ trend, brands are also seeking clearer messaging, moving away from obfuscating jargon to more subtle messaging. Aggressive campaigns are passe. Empathetic campaigns are in.
All of this means that many of the pre-pandemic ways of branding have now ceased to hold relevance. So, what better way for brands to become relevant again than through rebranding? Brands that have been nimble and agile, and adapted to changing customer expectations faster, are well-positioned to be the brands of the future.
Finding your whys
Brands may want to rebrand themselves for many reasons, as with NIIT Technologies, which rebranded itself as Coforge after its acquisition by Barings. Sometimes, it could be as simple as a merger. Other times, because they needed to connect with customers better. But usually, brands that choose to overhaul their entire personality do so for strategic reasons.
In CSS Corp’s case, we found that after 26 years, the brand had evolved from its initial beginnings as a service provider to a strategic value partner. The brand is known in the industry for its disruptive digital solutions and insights-driven services approach. Our services portfolio has expanded and shifted over the last two decades. But our brand identity and perception hadn’t kept pace with its transformation to a digital-first brand.
Going deeper, we found that our existing brand identity did not reflect who we were and the pillars that had driven this transformation. We wanted our brand to be known as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Was our brand ready to evolve? We found that the answer was an overwhelming “Yes!”
No matter the reasons behind the rebranding, knowing the answers to the ‘why’ will establish the future direction of the brand at a more fundamental level.
Rebranding as a process and continuing journey
Rebranding isn’t for everyone, though. It’s more than a new logo. It’s more than a brand refresh. It’s giving a brand the chance to start afresh. Utilized well, it’s a tool for positive change. It should be leveraged as an opportunity to infuse fresh thinking into the mindsets of all employees. It is an avenue to realize that while your problems may not disappear overnight, we will at least employ new means and energy to deal with them. Realigning the organizational aspirations with a new rallying cry can go a long way to expedite the transformation.
When we made rebranding a process of rediscovering ourselves as a brand, our new identity became clearer. It led to CSS Corp becoming Movate, a combination of ‘Momentum’ and ‘Innovate’. There are two key themes behind the company’s new positioning – Accelerate and Innovate. ‘Accelerate’ represents the company’s philosophy of helping clients achieve great outcomes with speed and stay ahead of the time curve. ‘Innovate’ represents its passion for solving complex challenges through the simplest and most creative solutions. And together, they form our new tagline, which is ‘Accelerate. Innovate. Movate.’
We also unveiled our new vibrant logo that represents our organization’s vision and what we stand for. The logo has three key elements: an inverted hourglass representing agility and speed, a hidden infinity symbol that signifies infinite potential and opportunity that the company brings to the table and the X Factor underlining the multiplier effect of the company.
From our experience, we found that, for rebranding to be a seamless process, we needed to quickly bring everybody on board with our brand’s new aspirations. This included being clear about our new messaging and ensuring that our employees understood the new positioning well.
Rejuvenating a much-loved brand is not easy. But as in the case of Evernote’s or Dunkin Donuts’ rebranding, you can always look at the past as inspiration for the future. You don’t want to lose all that valuable heritage – so make that the essence of what your brand has always been while adding or subtracting new elements. This ensures that the brand continues to resonate with customers. That’s something that we also felt was critical: CSS Corp has a long, proud history, and we wanted to showcase that history of excellence with our new vision of being agile and innovative. You don’t want your new identity to confuse existing customers: it should only make your value proposition clearer.