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Rebranding in 2021: A Mission to Leave a Personal Touch

Rebranding in 2021: A Mission to Leave a Personal Touch
July 12, 2021

Can you see it up ahead? The light at the end of the post-pandemic tunnel? Nationwide, the reopening of businesses is signaling something of a fresh start — for us as individuals, certainly, and as brands as well.

For many brands, this means shedding the old and embracing the new with a powerful rebrand.

Whether it’s your logo or messaging or color scheme, this proverbial flip of the page in our lives is as great a time as any to freshen things up. And doing so can have several purposes: Keeping your brand top of mind, engaging new prospects, and thanking the customers who’ve helped you through the lowest lows this past year.

In fact, we’ve already seen some of the biggest brands out there undertake some rebranding of their own (despite the inarguable strength of their existing brand identities). Let’s point out two of our favorites, who manage to achieve somewhat similar goals despite their differing aesthetic approaches:

Panera Bread, the North American bakery chain, tweaked its logo and design ever so slightly to come across a bit warmer and more welcoming. They achieved this with several clever changes, including rounding out their edges and making their logo reflect the concept of “breaking bread.” These changes may be small, but according to CEO Nir Wegrzyn, it all adds up to the “rediscovery of the pleasure [of] eating delicious, fresh food.”

Oscar Mayer’s meat and cold cuts are known worldwide, but that didn’t stop the iconic company from its first real rebrand in over 100 years. The main goal was to establish an aesthetic cohesion across all of its numerous products; in other words, to solidify brand unity. The simple, eye-catching design simultaneously connotes dependability and playfulness.

These examples may look quite different, but they both demonstrate the goal of any post-Covid rebrand: Emanate warmth and connectivity with an undertone of reliability.

Rebranding takes many forms, but here are our favorite trends of 2021

With half the year behind us, three on-the-rise branding practices have caught our eyes:

Hand-drawn logos. Moving slightly away from the artificial, impersonal rigidity of hyper-digital designs. As you can see somewhat with the Panera logo, these just feel more natural, more human. It feels like you’re engaging with a neighborly brand that operates down the street, not some faceless tech hub corporation.

Harmonious low-key color schemes. We’ve been seeing flashy hues and wild contrasts for years. But now, the arrow is turning away from those slap-in-the-face color schemes that scream out like Vegas billboards. We’re entering a phase of more comfortable, chill color vibes — calming presences in the face of a tumultuous world.

Minimalistic geometry. The cleverly understated use of shapes has the innate ability to give off this sense of strength and trust while also manifesting a modern, sophisticated vibe. And you see this with all sorts of hot apps — take Slack, Asana, Monday, and even all of Google’s programs.

It all comes down to meeting users in their comfort zones. And after a 2020 defined by being shut in and incessantly communicating via screens, the energy of 2021 is veering a different way: Personability, warmth, togetherness, as well as authenticity, nature, and environment. And as communities reunite and social life gets rejuvenated, is anything more appropriate?

Need help with your rebrand? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s one more thing we’ve learned through the years: It’s one thing to engage in a rebrand, but it’s another to bring it to people’s attention. You need to get your audience to care, right?

Well, we’ve seen a number of our partners get customers invested with image changing mailers like our Magic Changing Picture and Wonder Wheel Reveal. Both look like a regular cards at first, but by pulling a tab or spinning one, the visible message changes from A to B. Or, for a rebrand, it can switch from old to new.

People love these designs because despite being so simple, they are incredibly dynamic and memorable. Without any fancy bells and whistles, they effectively deliver their message in a playful way. And in doing so, they capture the personal touch so many brands seek — especially nowadays.

So if you have a post-pandemic rebrand on the agenda and need a hand spreading the word… shout it from the rooftops with image changing designs like our Magic Changing Picture and Wonder Wheel Reveal!