2008: year of the digital re-brand?

So it’s barely 2008, and several high-profile brands are already in the midst of re-branding campaigns. I’d be willing to bet that this year will see more re-branding, more corporate identity re-structuring, and a shift in the direction branding is going.

While Snapple is re-branding with a bit of Web 2.0 flair, Xerox is going for more than just the some web flair. Trying to shake the copier association while simultaneously ushering in the digital age, they announced yesterday their plans for re-branding via a live webcast between the Xerox CEO, president, and 57,000 global employees.

Xerox cites the need for a logo that retains visual integrity in the coming HD format, as well as the need for a logo that translates better to the animated world of the web. While I can’t say that I always consider animation possibilities when designing a logo, I suppose it’s indicative of the shift away from print, which is certainly the direction in which Xerox wants us to follow them. Despite looking like a holiday rendition of the x-box logo mixed with a beach ball, I personally like the Xerox logo, as much for the logo itself as the justifications behind the re-branding. There’s an article in the NYTimes today detailing much of the the shift, with Xerox providing logical support for their changes, which is always nice to see.

Modern, dynamism, and youthfulness are continually (and somewhat arbitrarily) tossed around when discussing new directions for companies, especially relative to branding, which I find interesting although somewhat expected. With the growing popularity of YouTube in 2007 and the explosion of Facebook, the internet, web culture, and invariably the “youth culture” associated with it are rapidly becoming driving forces in the media, pulling both ad revenue and corporate attention. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t all that surprising to see companies beginning not only to allocate resources to emerging media but to cognizantly re-brand with these new digital media and digital targets in mind. Any time large corporations shift with the trends and not years after, it’s refreshing. Whether or not these new logos will stand the test of time is a whole different story.

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