By Frances Collins
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Successful rebrands

A closer look at two different successful rebrands; Gumtree and Airbnb delving into some of the reasons why the rebrands have been effective.

Using your audience within the process

Gumtree started a rebrand process by responding to audience reactions to their brand (non-users, lapsed users and existing users), driven from market research. James Greenfield, founder of Koto, the studio responsible for the rebrand stated the following about the original logo “People didn’t understand the significance of it, they didn’t like the design and thought it was cluttered, and they didn’t understand the sun in the background – they just saw it as an orange circle.”

Whilst there have been instances where responding to audience opinion has proved to be unwise (The ‘new Coke’ failure being a prominent example), in the case of Gumtree the selection by users of the new logo from the shortlisted design ideas proved successful – “Many users [sic] describing it as simple, clean and modern in testing” – Greenfield talking to Creative review.

Koto had the audience at the forefront of decision making throughout the project with consideration given to testing and perception – ensuring their goals of modern, simple and digital were communicated.

Rebranding a company where the logo is disliked takes experience, but when the logo is valued and respected but no longer fits with the company’s values the rebrand process is a whole new ball game!

An immersive approach

The old Airbnb brand was liked, so when it came to rebranding, the company commissioned, Design Studio, took an immersive approach to the process. Placing half their project team in the Airbnb offices, and visiting customers’ spread across the globe, they came to understand the culture. This understanding led to decisions around belonging anywhere and creating a mark anyone could draw. This has been visually implemented by creating a content brand whose mark can be adapted, alongside permission given for its flexible use, has resulted in increased brand loyalty from customers and fans!

Images from Design week and Design boom


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