Swiss marketing Vaud
Revamping the Identity of an Iconic Technology Brand: Logitech
Rodrigo Castaňeda, Head of Brand Experience
© Atelier Kaïros photos
Logitech’s rebranding was qualified as the most ambitious brand transformation in its 30+ year history’ in the summary of the conference. It was intended to reflect the company’s commitment to design and its transformation into a stronger, multi-category technology brand.
I was particularly interested in listening to Rodrigo Castaňeda and on which perspective he would adopt to explain Logitech’s rebranding. Not only thanks to swissmarketing’s appealing summary but especially because I think that there is nothing challenging like crisis communication or management. In those situations we learn the most and get to understand, in retrospect, from the weight of our decisions. The way a company tells its history is revealing of its essence.
2011-2013: Economical context
Founded in 1981 in Apples (Vaud, Switzerland), Logitech is specialized in the fabrication of peripheral devices. In the 80’s, it started by producing mouses and keyboards for several enterprises such as HP, Dell or Sony, then expanded its range of products.
In 2010, along with Google and Sony, it planned to propose the Google TV. However in 2011, Logitech stopped its collaboration on the project, mentioning that this partnership was a mistake losing millions of dollars on the way. Certainly an unlucky timing, since it synchronized with an economic downturn: everybody thought PC was slowing down, because everything was going mobile. A few dark years followed, the 2012-2013 fiscal year had especially moribond perspectives. Logitech underwent different actions to fix the situation, the rebranding being one of them.
Of Logitech’s history, Castaňeda only evoked the contextual economic situation of 2011-2013, mentioning that Logitech got into a turnaround mode because of it. The question challenging them at that moment was ‘how to maximise profit and grow the company beyond the PC strong hold?’
On the influence of your company’s structure
Castaňeda explained how Logitech operates in hundred countries, yet behaves as a small company, a nice place to work at, with little hierarchy, and everybody being very open. For example, nobody has an office, including the CEO, which makes everybody very accessible. You can just go, talk and ask, which made the teams very committed into the rebranding project.
« A lot of things were happening, and we had a lot ambition but how far do we pay tribute to it? how far do we diverge? » asked Castaňeda mentioning the need to honor and recognize Logitech’s legacy and its approximately 30 years of existence, as it was being rebranded.
Logitech has a long story behind, it sold its one billionth mouse in 2008, however it needed to reinvent itself. Upon arrival, CEO Bracken Darrell did not only plan to refresh the product portfolio, drifting from peripherals to speakers, mobile and tablet accessories, but also create a design company. The existing excellency of the engineering would meet with design efforts. To undertake this task, Alastair Curtis, the head of design chief at Nokia, was hired.
State your ambitions
How do you bring customers from trusting to loving your products?
With a well planned brand strategy. Indeed, the purpose as a brand is at the intersection of the focus of the company (who we are, what we do) and its ambitions (where do we go?).
In Logitech’s case, the wish was to go beyond functional performance; it should not only be about products and peripherals. The product should be carried beyond its physical assets. They wanted to design products that transcend their functional value and are loved by people. It is then about experiences.
To the three existing functional brand values – performance, ease of use, quality – three emotional values were added – engaging, empowering, inspiring – bringing Logitech new perspectives.
“We design (our focus as a company) experiences (beyond products) so you (beyond consumer) create, achieve and enjoy more.” stated the team.
© Brand and Design Strategy, Logitech Analyst and Investor Day, 2016.03.02
The creative process
In 2014 began a journey to make Logitech more human, with many interviews, workshops, mood boards. The teams were mostly cross-functional: everybody needed to be involved, and on board with the ambition wished. Logitech also hired a design team, whose focus was on answering the question ‘how to create effortless experiences?’
« The brand will help us drive our reputation and give us license to create amazing things » sort of became a mantra for the involved teams.
New logo – new spirit
Today’s technology is everywhere, so it wasn’t wished to call attention to the ‘tech’ part of Logitech. The whole transformation signals that Logitech is increasing its focus on design, but it is more than a cosmetic change. it is also about values.
The new logo is all about how to be modern, in line with the present time and a lot more simple. The teams wanted fresh and striking colors, differentiation and simplicity.
The mark ‘logi’ was also added. The company is not renamed, but introduced this logo as a label.
Be young, be iconic, don’t broadcast, converse: those are the important things the teams learnt.
Apply your brand
The rebranding is not only about the logo. It translates into many fields.
It visually applies to videos and the way products are pictured. For example, a special attention is dedicated to settings and organisation. On the verbal ground, Logitech’s communication is shorter (usually two words), with statements such as ‘break free’, ’go forth’, ‘connect. create’. In shops, the sections are now bolder, with bright colors and lights.
Guidelines and brand training also became central for events and trade shows. In order to spread the world to regional teams, most intensive and detailed guidelines were written.
On a pragmatic level, a shift in product line accompanied by a rebranding seems to be a successful mix as the mobile speakers (Ultimate Ears) has become a driver of growth for Logitech. A +48% year over year growth in sales for 2016 is foreseen for this line of product, whereas zero growth is expected for the iconic products, namely keyboards and mice (Q3 Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Results, January 20, 2016).
A rebranding is more than a symbolic change. It obviously is a public statement of a desire to change and evolve. However, for a company, it becomes really effective and significant when the change of values is not only stated but also lived. As subtly hinted by Castaňeda, the rebranding had a huge impact on recruitment, which, on my opinion, is a highly positive sign. More importantly, a stand still should be at all cost avoided. A company is meant to evolve with its employees and current trends. Logitech seems to be now aware of it, as it suggests that “there is more to come”.
Watch here the video of the conference.
Tags: brand, brand identity, conference, lausanne, logi, logitech, marketing, rebranding, swissmarketing, switzerland