Airtel announced its new logo today. Call me a logo-cynic but I usually dislike the new logo on sight. This one is no different. Mainly because it usually isn’t apparent to me what is the value of the change and it appears to be merely cosmetic. Kinda like putting lipstick on a pig.
So here is my quick take:
- The logo is bright and retains the red colour which is strongly associated with Airtel. Given Airtel’s big budget advertising it is quite likely to be imprinted in the public consciousness fast.
- The logo is an interpretation of a lower-case “a”. The use of all lower case is supposed to connote humility which sounds like brand-management mumbo-jumbo. A better rationale would have been to say that it is in line with the modern sms lingo. The positive is that by standing for something, albeit in the abstract, the logo is more likely to be memorable.
- The big change is moving from a simple logotype to a visual logo symbol. Many companies embark on this transition but having worked with brands of both varieties, I’d be hard put to identify the benefits of one over the other. There are very few companies - apple being one - that are actually able to use just their visual symbol without the name of the firm being attached to it and still generate recognition. Again, given Airtel’s deep pockets, this may be one of their goals.
- The only excuse for a new logo is to symbolize great change. With the acquisition of Zain Telecom - and hence going international - I guess there is some excuse. Their stated reason of launch of 3G sounds rather weak and anti-climatic. The true test of success for a logo change is whether it is also accompanied by a big organizational transformation, and that remains to be seen. None has been announced so far.
- Did they really require a logo change? Frankly, no. A little rejuvenation perhaps, but not yet a complete change. In a quarter of lower-than-expected numbers, a massive logo change exercise is an uncalled for distraction. Have they (finally) run out of ideas to excite the consumers and shareholders?
Agree or disagree? Do share your views. Am currently involved in two logo transformation exercises so would find your ideas very helpful and topical.