Create a coherent brand and you’ve won a critical battle. Re-brand a successful standalone app like Instagram, owned by social media monolith Facebook, and you’ve made a bold move. If you’re ready for a change in how the public perceives your brand, take a look at what I feel Instagram nailed with this new approach.
With continuity, anything is possible.
The Instagram family, including Layout and Boomerang, jumped into a new logo realm, each consistent with one another. The continuity of the visual rebrand makes for a perceived continuity in the interaction between the products. I don’t know that there really is that kind of continuity, nor do I know if it’s needed. What I do know is that from a design and perception perspective, Instagram nailed it. The best part? You can too. Stay sharp when it comes to how your customers/users perceive your holdings, and if you have a diverse array, begin to ensure there is continuity between their public impressions.
You’re never too old to try.
Yes, Internet years fly by faster than dog years. Honestly, Instagram wasn’t going to lose any ground by keeping the old Polaroid-influenced logo. They know that their bread and butter is simple, easy sharing and interaction based on photos and hashtags. What happens in the product packaging is secondary. They may have been around for an Internet eternity (approximately 6 years) but compared to the storied Facebook design history, they may indeed have been due for an update.
Obvious gets the limelight.
Facebook layout and logo changes are now so passe that it does help that Instagram, one of its holdings, can stand out and get some well-deserved attention. Adweek hates it, Inc thinks it missed the point by reflecting a new identity, rather than reflecting a user-based need for change. As Liz Stinson mentions in this Wired article, “Nothing about your experience will change, aside from clicking on a prettier icon.”
It might seem counter-intuitive that so much hype is accompanied by so little change in using the app. However, the interest is in updating a brand’s perception, not re-inventing the wheel. The obvious changes are the ones that get attention, but brand attention should not mean compromising existing user experience. A user does not want to relearn a favorite app or activity simply for the sake of the brand gaining or widening their audience. Tread lightly on the ground between gaining attention from an obvious change and not adjusting too much on the functionality side.
Instagram is on to something. What’s your take on the app, its brand, its usage, it’s perception? Take it to the comments section – and keep it clean!
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