Digital / 12th May, 2016

Instagram’s new logo and its impact on users

Instagram ditched its iconic logo in favour of more of a ‘modern’ design on May 11 in a move that’s stirred up a whirlwind of negativity for the social networking app.

According to Instagram, the new look has been ‘inspired by the previous app icon and represents a simpler camera, with the rainbow living on in gradient form.’

Despite the design time and thought that’s been put into developing the updated icon and app design, it’s attracted widespread criticism. In fact, Instagram’s latest move will most probably go down as one of the biggest design fails of the year…

However, there’s an extremely valuable lesson we can all learn from Instagram’s latest fate. Staying relevant and moving with the times is pivotal to achieving success within the design stakes. While Instagram wanted to make its brand more reflective of the community, what it’s unveiled has been the total opposite, with many designers calling for the old icon to be reinstated rather than paying homage to it.

Sounds like Instagram could have done with a spending a whole lot more time on testing its audience first before launching into the grand unveil. After all, there’s a whole lot more to creating a new brand than the look and feel, there’s the stage before that actually tests the audience first and gathers valuable customer research and insight.

Here at Make, we ask our clients for permission to speak to their customers (new, old, lapsed and potential) to establish a 360 degree view of their opinion on the existing brand. We then build any brand adjustment around the invaluable feedback we receive. All in all, this enables us to fully understand the target audience before we even put pen to paper (so to speak). Before we launch the brand we ‘road test’ it even further by setting up in-partial focus groups for further feedback.

But that’s not all. There’s also another key lesson Instagram can teach us. The importance of getting your digital-first branding right. While Instagram have clearly factored it in to its new icon by creating a simple graphic that works with the design movements of iOS and Android interface updates, they’ve alienated their users, who prefer the classic, more retro feel of their old icon.

Branding needs to be thought about in a more granular way before any brash deductions are made, otherwise you risk upsetting or even losing customers. As tempting as it might be to forge ahead with an idea that might be digital-first and tick all of your boxes, do your research first, otherwise you could wind up creating an #instafail…

Got any questions or want to discuss a branding project with us? Make contact today by calling us on 020 3567 0860 or emailing us at hi@makeagency.co.uk