When I was 12, my dad came home from a business trip with a cleanly shaved face. This was not normal. My dad had had a mustache for the last 20 years, and I had never in my life seen him any differently. I knew it was coming, he had told us that he decided to shave it, but I still cried when I saw him, and I had a hard time going near him for a couple days. He was the same great guy he'd always been, but he looked so different that it was hard for me to adjust.
Every so often (it seems to be more and more often these days), a major brand decides to change up it's look. A couple months ago EVERYONE, okay maybe everyone is an exaggeration, most everyone freaked out about Uber changing it's logo and pretty much doing a complete rebrand. More recently Instragram decided to rebrand, and again, most everyone freaked out. And most recently, Netflix updated it's icon (not logo, just it's icon). There seemed to be less freak-outage about this one since they didn't change their actual logo, just adapted a new icon, but nevertheless there were plenty of articles swirling around with everybody and their brother's commentaries.
And that seems to be what happens with all of these. A major brand releases a rebrand and everyone puts out an article about whether it's the greatest thing ever or it's the ugliest thing they've ever seen. Everyone tweets about whether or not it was a good business move. They analyze it and rip it apart and look for hidden meanings and criticize everything they can. Most of the articles end up being something to the effect of: I hate this new branding and here's why.
But the thing with these rebrands is, for the most part, after about 10 days, everyone forgets that it ever happened. You forget that there ever was a different Instagram logo. You keep calling rides with Uber, you keep stalking your friends' duck-face selfies on Instagram, and you keep binge-watching Netflix because well, nothing has really changed. So while it's definitely fun to talk about whether we like a new logo or whether we think it's awful and should have never happened (see: pretty much everyone's opinions about Uber), what you have to realize is that the more you do that the more you're giving brands what they want: free publicity. I mean seriously, did you stop using Uber because of their new branding? Did you use Instagram any less? (if you did, please leave a comment!)
Really what this comes down to is, and the Washington Post hit the nail right on the head in the article linked above, that people are resistant to change. Always. Brands win us over and we get used to seeing them a certain way, just like I was with my dad and his mustache. We see a new logo and we think, I don't know you, you're not the _________ that I've grown to love. But after a few days of seeing my dad without a mustache, the shock wore off, and I realized that he was just the same old guy, and I actually liked him better this way.
So, the next time you see a big rebrand launch, instead of freaking out, maybe try to take a step back and realize what is happening here, and appreciate that these companies are agile and mixing things up. And choose to critique it by the affect it has on your interactions with the brand, not whether you "like it" or not.
For a great commentary on this same thing, see this #askgaryvee.