Last week, Yahoo! broke the news that they are going to update their iconic logo with the launch of a campaign leading up to the reveal of their new identity on Sept 4 called “30 Days of Change.” The change, according to Kathy Savitt, Chief Marketing Officer at Yahoo! is reflective of their last 12 months of business “There’s been a renewed sense of purpose and progress at Yahoo!, and we want everything we do to reflect this spirit of innovation. While the company is rapidly evolving, our logo — the essence of our brand — should too,” she added.
If headlines are any indication, there has indeed been a lot going on at the company. CEO Marissa Mayer hasn’t been shy, and she just finished her first year as head of the company with a shopping spree that concluded with $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr. New leadership often signals big change, and what better way to make your mark than by changing the trademark itself?
As a brand-o-phile, I eat this stuff up. I love to see brands grow and change and read about the strategies behind the evolutions so I like the hoopla around this launch. Why shouldn’t brands celebrate their growth? As consumers become more savvy brand advocates and critics, it’s wise to acknowledge the change and invite them behind the curtain. My concern with Yahoo!’s launch promotion is that it reminds me of another internet giant’s much touted logo play. Google has been having fun with its logo for years, inviting designers to reimagine it on a daily basis. I feel, in fact, that they own this space. Yahoo!’s multi-logo campaign doesn’t seem like an original idea or fitting for a company who is trying to signal innovation.
Before you think I’m just another one of the Yahoo bashers, let me just add that my first email account was with Yahoo! and I still maintain that address. I’ve seen the company evolve, add features, go purple, and weather the fickle winds deciding whether it’s cool or not. As one of the very first search engines, Yahoo! set the standard for quirky company names back in 1994— four years before Google. The company may have stumbled in recent years but it’s still an internationally recognized brand and a much needed option in an online world shrinking one acquisition at a time. I don’t think they needed to borrow a page from anyone to rebrand themselves. They were, and are, the one and only (insert yodel) Yahoo!.
Todd Metrokin is a Creative Strategist with Ogilvy Washington’s Creative Studio.
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