Uber has just announced a brand re-fresh to align with their current brand strategy and philosophy but more than that they have engaged their audience by communicating their brand story and the reason for change.
On their website Uber said “We’ve always felt there was a cognitive dissonance between who we were deep down and how we expressed ourselves through our logo.
“This updated design reflects where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. The Uber you know isn’t changing, our brand is just catching up to who we already were”.
What begun as a premium black car service in a few cities has evolved into a network which helps people explore 400 destinations in 68 countries. Uber is no longer purely a driver service, the technology helps deliver food, packages, and people. It makes sense that their brand needed to reflect this new vision.
Despite their old brand only being re-freshed four years ago they recognised the need to evolve the visual identity and look and feel of the brand to reflect the strategy and goals of the business. In a technology industry such as this where the market is continually changing it is important to continually look at the role the brand is playing in communicating and engaging with the audience. While some people may think it unnecessary to re-fresh a brand after only four years it shows forward thinking and the power of the brand to drive business growth.
More than just a brand re-fresh Uber has done a fantastic job of telling the brand story in an emotive way to connect to their audiences and bring people along the journey with them. An important part of any brand re-fresh or brand creation is being able to translate the brand strategy to your customers in a way they can understand and relate to. But more than this it should inspire them to connect with your brand and in doing so you create stronger bonds and ultimately long term brand loyalty. Uber have done a great job of communicating their new approach with a specific micro site to explain the brand re-fresh and reason for change.
Uber said “We want people around the world to feel like Uber was born in their city, so a conventional brand system simply won’t work. You can’t have the same look and feel in Chengdu as you do in Charleston and expect to be embraced by both cultures. At the same time, building a globally recognizable brand requires common elements people can associate with you”.
The result of this, is a brand mark with a strong idea at the core, the bit and atom, and an execution and visual language with the flexibility to take the business in a new direction while connecting with the many local markets around the world.
Some of the brand elements create consistency to build brand recognition while others are designed for flexibility (patterns and colours). Although, is colour and pattern really enough to distinguish across different markets? Either way the philosophy of localising the brand for different marks will be sure to come out in other areas of the brand execution and is a great strategic direction for the brand.
We’re big Uber fans here at the office, no longer are we waiting stranded on the street late for a meeting because our cab hasn’t turned up. We’re looking forward to seeing how this localised strategy come to life here in Australia and how the brand continues to evolve to compliment the brand strategy.
Director of Brand Projects