Series of corporate tussles struck Uber in the last two years that got its branding into trouble. It is slowly rebuilding its reputation after ousting CEO Travis Kalanick who built a successful but hostile corporate culture. The company has released ads with new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi riding an Uber to promote a fresh start.
The following article is our analysis of why changing the logo is a good idea for Uber beyond its corporate affairs and how it would translate into bigger business in the emerging markets.
On first sight, the new Uber logo looks like it’s doggedly following the recent trend for wordmarks in bespoke fonts. It’s the work of the ever-controversial Wolff Olins – who you’ll remember for the 2012 Olympics logo and the similarly provocative Met rebrand – along with the Uber Brand Experience Team. Of course, it includes a bespoke font, Uber Move – a sans serif by MCKL Type Foundry, which was inspired by typefaces usually associated with transportation, and designed to look friendlier than the previous, more aggressive typeface, Clan Pro.
It’s the word ‘Uber’ in white on a black background, a style we’ve seen just a little too much of over the past year.
Thankfully, however, there’s more to this rebrand than a disappointing wordmark. You’ll doubtless be astounded to learn, part of a larger design system that’s built to embody a sense of mobility and to look good and be understood in any of 660-plus cities in the world that Uber operates.
New Target Audience
Company plans to aggressively get into the emerging markets especially India where its prime competitor, the home-grown OLA is ruling the market in spite of the global major’s efforts. India’s liberalization coupled with the IT revolution gave rise to middle class that can afford services such as Uber. There is only one problem.. most of the elderly members are not tech savvy. They still prefer to use the traditional Autorikshaw/Cab services as they find it had to migrate into cab booking apps. India also has a wide range of technological problems like poor network connectivity and still-to-evolve road-mapping on Google maps. Ola solved this problem by having a customer care number to book cabs. This made the life of these elderly class easy. Many of them do not even use the app.
Uber’s idea to move to a font only logo in app-centric world will help it grow in markets like India.
What’s in it for Marketeers?
Many of the struggling app developers who invested into making their logos recognizable can take a cue from Uber’s strategy. If you are in an extremely competitive atmosphere either have a logo that all your target group can associate with; or move into a clean font with clear visibility on their mobile. Talk to a digital marketing agency to day to re-look at your branding strategy.