The decision to make a big change to a brand isn’t made overnight. When done right, it’s a strategic process in response to anything from a change to a product, service, or audience; a need to increase or kick-start awareness; or to amend a catastrophic blow to a brand.
Earlier this year, Facebook made headlines with its global debut of reactions, an expanded form of the “like” button that offers users alternative emotions when engaging with posts. A “dislike” button had been one of the most requested features from users for many years, mostly because ‘liking’ posts containing unlikeable content made for awkward online social encounters.
Although the Facebook reactions change was created to meet the demands of users looking for further engagement options, much like many of Facebook’s other updates, the implementation of reactions was met with mixed reviews. Even when in line with their wants or needs, any change to a brand can be difficult for loyal customers who value recognizability and comfort—sometimes just as much as product or experience improvement.
Reactions are a somewhat significant evolution of the Facebook brand, and the decision to integrate them was made over the course of several years. Facebook’s other venture, Instagram, recently announced its new logo, which had been the same camera icon for almost six years (Facebook bought the company in 2012). Instagram changed its logo not because of user demand, but in response to how the service was being used and how it had changed organically through the user experience.
“The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more—a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become,” said the company’s press announcement of the change.
As we all know, a brand is more than just a logo. In order to build a successful brand and create a valuable and positive association in a customer’s mind, the entire user experience, including messaging, design, and ease-of-use must be addressed. Along with the new logo, Instagram announced updates to its user interface. The new internal look was intended to provide a cleaner place to share content, making users’ photos and videos stand out against the minimalistic background. Ensuring your brand reflects both evolving product attributes and the wants and needs of your customers is a smart move.
Social media platforms have access to user data and brand engagement analysis that may not be as easy to access for companies that don’t offer similar services. Check back to read next week’s post for the top five signs it may be time for a brand refresh.