Lessons Learned from the Uber Rebranding Flop | The Garage Group

Lessons Learned from the Uber Rebranding Flop

To stay relevant in our rapidly-advancing world, brands need to keep two steps ahead of the competition. But, change for the sake of change can lead to trouble.

Uber learned this the hard way at the beginning of February when it launched a new brand identity–complete with a redesigned logo, which the CEO spent three years crafting internally with a designer. A brief explanation about how bits and atoms intersect attempted to justify the massive, seemingly unwarranted shift in brand look and feel.

The change was made in light of the fact that Uber has evolved into a new type of company since its inception (from an exclusive black car service to an empire of diverse technological innovations for everyone), and Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, felt that the brand  needed a fresh look to better lend itself to greater adaptability and flexibility, which isn’t at all a bad objective.

The problem was, Uber’s original logo was highly recognizable by most consumers, leaving them scratching their heads and struggling to locate the iconic app on their phones.

Hindsight lesson learned?

Bring in external perspective. By understanding and assessing consumer awareness and associations around the logo, Uber would have been able to discern how much, if any, change was actually needed. It’s likely that no change was really necessary, or maybe small improvements could have been made to elevate the design in a way that would allow for greater adaptability while still enabling consumers to recognize the brand.

Uber prides itself on being an innovative company with a mission to get people what they need (whether it be a ride home, a lunch delivery, or a backseat full of puppies). Next time, we bet they’ll get their consumers in on the process and co-creating with their internal team.

What do you think of Uber’s decision to rebrand? What do you think they could have done differently?

The Garage Group helps corporate teams to innovate and grow like startups, with smart and lean approaches to strategy, ideas and initiatives.

Photo credit: Unsplash, Nabeel Syed

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