Evolution vs Revolution: what's right for your brand?

Design Strategy

So, the question is: evolution or revolution?

Do you need a brand evolution? Nuanced and subtle changes to how you look or are perceived in the market? Or, are you looking for a brand revolution? Exactly what it says on the tin – a major change in direction, a big bang, an opportunity to shift perceptions.

And the answer is: listen to the strategy.

Before you get started, you need to properly understand the reasons for change.

Is it because you feel your brand is tired and outdated? Have you outgrown it? Or is there a more fundamental reason – a change of business direction, M&A activity, a slump in sales?

Done properly, defining your brand strategy is a rewarding and fulfilling process. A combination of interactive workshops, research and distilation will provide unique insight into your company – from an internal and external perspective.


1. Evolution

If you want an example of a brand which has seen a true evolution throughout its entire life, then look no further than Shell Oil. From a very rough drawing of a mussell shell in the early 1900’s the Shell brand has evolved continually into the iconic and instantly recognised brand of today.


2. Revolution: Getting it right

The Co-Operative goes back to the future. When the Co-Operative rebranded in 2017, they turned the clock back to their classic clover leaf branding of the late 60’s to great success. The rebrand, by London based North Design, is a great example of how a rebrand can breathe a new lease of life into an established organisation.


3. Revolution: Getting it wrong

It doesn’t always go to plan. As this quick forray into a new brand for Gap demonstrates – with the new logo launched on 9 October 2010 and swapped back on 12 October 2010.

A poorly managed rebrand project – or a great PR exercise?


Read our full set of recommendations to see examples of the brands doing revolution and evolution right and wrong.