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Making the switch

Any time a company changes its logo it's a risky move that could easily turn off its customers.

Ask Gap, which in 2010 dramatically altered its iconic logo and quickly had to revert back to the old one after it was bombarded with a maelstrom of negative online feedback from disappointed customers—some who swore never to return to the retailer.

Enter Yahoo, who recently announced that it is planning on changing its logo.

The move might be good for the Web company, said Ira Kalb, a professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at USC, who typically suggests companies avoid such dramatic ploys because they're usually rooted in all the wrong reasons.

"Yahoo hasn't had that great of an image," Kalb said. "Their image is they're outdated and an also-ran on the Internet—so I think from a psychological and image standpoint [the logo change] is a good idea."

Kalb, who has expertise in branding, crisis management and strategic marketing, said that marketers need to pay attention to the sensitive nature of the human brain which has evolved to protect us.

"The brain likes to relax," he said from his office in Los Angeles. "When you make a change you make the brain uncomfortable. When people feel uncomfortable they don't feel comfortable to buy."

There are many tech companies, however, that have successfully made the leap, seemingly convincing their customer's brains that the new logo is a positive change.

Click ahead to see some examples.


By Tony Pierce
Posted 13 Aug. 2013

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images