evolutionary branding

Evolutionary Branding

In Branding by Steve CartwrightLeave a Comment

Static versus Evolutionary Branding

I feel that a brand identity should evolve with the progression of a company and new trends. Often branding is restricted by guidelines or methods that are too restrictive, which make it look dated and dull after a certain period of time.

You should always allow for an evolution of campaigns and layouts. This doesn’t mean that every design should be completely different and have no relation to its predecessors, but it does mean that over time the concepts can slowly be changed and updated to keep the layouts fresh and inviting, while retaining the integrity of the brand that has been developed.

Too often when using a static / rigid brand identity, the marketing designs soon become week and diluted making them all blend into one another. This is obviously not good because if everything is too similar, people no longer pay any attention to it.

WWF logo timeline

The example shown above highlights how the World Wildlife Fund logo has changed throughout the brand’s existence. You can see that although the identity has always been consistent throughout the years it has progressed with the times to embrace new technology and styles. If they had not done this then the brand would have looked dated and tired by today’s standards. I am sure that they have allowed for their other brand guidelines to evolve and develop over time as well.

I looked at their new app on my iPad the other day and it looks and functions brilliantly. If they had been too rigid with their identity, it would have made developing their newer online / digital brand more difficult. Often when companies have been established for a long time and there are major technological advances, they have to completely rethink how to market themselves to embrace the new technology. Being able to subtly revolutionise your brand in incremental steps allows your brand to change with the times and develop new strategies that fit into the overall ethos of your identity.

By creating brand identity with scope to grow and evolve over time you enable your company to stay current and inviting. It also allows your business to expand into different sectors and integrate new areas of business under the umbrella of the original or core elements of the business. This could mean that if there is a sideline or new business sector that you are targeting it is sometimes necessary to have a different look and feel to the brand identity. The identity of your business is influenced by a number of factors which include: target audience or key demographic for the products, type of product being marketed, industry sectors and many other factors that come to light when you think about any business.


Virgin is a great example for a brand that encompasses a wide array of businesses and sectors while giving each it’s own identity built under the key elements of the original business. The company has expanded into most conceivable business sectors and created a separate identity for each one while still retaining the key elements i.e. typeface or font and the word virgin followed by a unique visual identity and additional word to highlight the sector being promoted.

Where ever possible, businesses should think about the future and plan for success and growth. This enables everything to be planned and executed properly from the outset, leaving minimal room for error. If you have a logo created incorrectly the first time round without leaving scope for growth it could end up being extremely costly to re-brand your business in the future rather than doing a few minor tweaks to get it up to date. A good example of this is if you have had all your business stationery, signs, vehicle livery and marketing setup incorrectly, then not only will you have to reprint all these but you will also have to do a huge amount of work to highlight the change over so that your customer base knows about the change and stays loyal to the business you’ve worked so hard to set up and build.

If you would like to discuss any of these points or if you have anything relevant to add or suggest please get in touch.

Evolutionary Branding was last modified: May 18th, 2016 by Steve Cartwright

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