After the Gap fiasco a week ago, another company shows off their rebrand in the form of a logo design. DoubleTree has unveiled their new logo. I am fine with the new logo, I like the intertwined “D” and trees and the new brown look. According to the Brand Channel, the company said the new identity followed extensive research and “consumer feedback drove selection of the final logo.” What surprised me is the company’s statement that the new logo was “celebrating a modern, updated look and feel for DoubleTree”. The new identity looks like a throw back to the historical, stoic look of yesteryear. A well-established, upscale identity aimed at older business travelers is appropriate and a good move as many hotels go after the vacationing family such as Holiday Inn (see below). I would never call the new brown DoubleTree logo as “modern”.
The Holiday Inn rebrand shown below was genius and it went far beyond the company’s logo. Many times people confuse a new logo for a rebrand. A rebrand is a new look across the board and that is exactly what Holiday Inn did. Holiday Inn required all of their franchises to update their properties to the new look or leave the company. As the recession was really developing, Holiday Inn had little mercy for the franchise owners dragging their feet and the company cut ties. I have seen many former Holiday Inns and I see why the company cut ties. Holiday Inn upscaled their company image to be a preferred place for families to stay for vacations as well as frugal business travelers. The former Holiday Inns can mostly been summed up as “hell holes”. [I can not account for every one of them since I’m obviously not seen all of them, but the ones I’ve driven by or the few I’ve stayed at as a last resort where just horrid.]
Just remember a rebrand is not just a new logo, but a new company attitude, a position change in the market, or a rebirth of a very historic logo. Also, many small companies fail to inform their brand community that they made the change so they look like they were bought out or worse, a different company altogether. Obviously a small company is not going to international news like Gap, DoubleTree or Holiday Inn, but a simple email, letter, or small advertising campaign will go a long way.