The Responsibility of an Iconic Brand in A Changing World

Icons are not like any other brand. We love them and every brand wants to be one. In today’s world of constant change, the significance of icons is even more important than ever before as they are beacons of recognition and constancy. We know them, desire them, connect with them—and we expect a lot from them. This sense of expectation about how icons look and behave become most prescient when they decide to change. When icons change, they change our world. Our emotional reaction becomes the ultimate test and can make or break their presence and power. How icons change is vital to how they connect with us now and in the future.

According to Branding Mag, when icons make a positive change, they can uplift, delight, and reconnect us in a whole new way. Looking back at key iconic reinventions, when Saks Fifth Avenueupdated its identity it retained its elegance and integral sense of style, but its new, multi-faceted nature made it more contemporary and allowed it to live across multi-channels and platforms. Converse is another classic example of true iconic evolution. Hidden amongst the new competition for years, the once coveted sneakers not only regained their treasured position but also became so ubiquitous that Converse are now once again part of the urban lifestyle and woven into the cultural fabric all over the world.

The wrong or misguided change by an icon can just as easily break our heart, let us down, and disappoint us. The hype surrounding the Airbnb reveal centered on this sense of expectation. It was a chance to create a true iconic moment and capture collective emotion. But, the unveiling didn’t live up to the hype with claims that the new identity was borrowed and adopted. They gave people what Airbnb thought they wanted, rather then being true to the heart of the brand. Essentially, a brand of belonging left us with endless iterations and no clear sense of belonging.

Read the full article by Branding Mag here.

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