Of course, the general reaction is an example of human nature at its core – people fear change and when something unexpectedly changes, they tend to react negatively. In this case, Instagram has had the same logo since their debut in 2011, so a change, especially one this drastic invokes fear – but why?
This is such a stirring subject for users because ultimately, brands have their own identities. As a result, people personify brands, associating them with their own emotions. Brands are used by consumers as a personal identifier which is why consumers are loyal to the brands they choose – it’s another way to confirm who they are to society.
When criticized about their new logo, Instagram explained that their old logo was no longer relevant to their current branding. The original logo was supposed to convey a “vintage feel” because that was the message they were trying to convey. Fast forward to 2016 and Instagram’s brand has seemed to changed, appealing to a predominantly younger demographic. With their niche in mind, Instagram will appeal to their most impactful demographics. Flat, colorful designs are what seem to be the current trend, that capture a lot of users. Instagram will continue to keep up with current design trends and stay as relevant as possible.
Here’s the problem – the change to the new logo was too abrupt, and it unnerved users. The conventional approach would be to change one thing at a time and evolve the brand, like Coca-Cola or Apple, for example. By making small changes over time, you’re not completely focusing all your efforts on one demographic and thus neglecting and deterring other groups. By making small adjustments you can measure the effectiveness (or lack of) for each change you make. This not only limits risk of upsetting users, but adds a more articulate and strategic touch because each change is more significant.
In short, Instagram bit off more than it could chew when it came to changing their logo so abruptly. There’s nothing wrong with segmenting, but there is a problem when you start rocking a ship that’s coasting nicely. The next few weeks will show if Instagram made a solid choice in their branding decision.
What do you think about the new logo? Post in the comments below!