PayPal launched a new logo on Wednesday that hit television screens with a new ad campaign on the same day. The new logo wasn’t years in the making. Instead, this new logo development process started in December of 2013.
Why the rush? In an interview with ReadWriteWeb, PayPal President David Marcus explained that the rush was necessary as the company prepares to launch a long list of new products to its global audience. The new logo is meant to represent people coming together and will be featured prominently in PayPal’s mobile products. The double P is intended to standalone not just in mobile applications but also across new platforms, including wearable tech.
However, the new PayPal logo was also designed with brick-and-mortar applications in mind. PayPal UK marketing director Alison Sagar told Marketing Magazine,
The brand needed to better reflect changes in technology and consumer behavior, including the development of digital wallets and wearable tech. An awful lot has changed in the world, specifically the consumer adoption of mobile, with explosive growth over the last two or three years. That changes not only the way people shop and interact with media, but also how they are paying for things. We wanted to refresh our brand identity to make sure it’s effective and gets across our key messages of simplicity, convenience and security, not just for online but increasingly in mobile and physical stores.
Over at Silicon Valley Business Journal, PayPal’s chief product officer, Hill Ferguson said the brand refresh happened now because the company is embarking on a big marketing push. In an interview, he said,
As we launch the new products, as we relaunch old products that are sleeker and more mobile focused, we needed to change the brand. And it had to come now because, frankly, we’re going to be spending a lot more money on advertising as a part of that rollout. We’re going to be spending a lot more time on marketing, on making sure consumers and merchants understand what we’re doing. Our fundamental brand promise hasn’t changed, which is to save consumers time, money, and keep them safe. But you’d be surprised how many people who use PayPal don’t understand it. They don’t really know what you can and can’t do with it. So a lot of it is education. It’s not just about branding, it’s education.
You can watch two of the new PayPal commercials debuting in the U.K. below.
Ferguson is certainly right. There is no better time to do a rebranding than when you’re about to invest in a lot of marketing leading up to a barrage of new product launches and existing product overhauls. While the new PayPal logo does seem rushed and leaves something to be desired, it will translate well to diverse media, and the change in the blue color is a very good thing. The truth is—PayPal isn’t the company it was when it launched in December 1998 or when eBay bought it in 2002 or when it last redesigned its logo (2007). PayPal is a very different company and a different brand. The focus and promise has stayed consistent as Ferguson explains. It is still the brand that promises easy, quick, and safe payment processing. However, the breadth of that promise has evolved significantly.
Whether you like the new PayPal logo or not (I would have liked to see a bigger and bolder change), it was a good time for a brand refresh. What do you think?
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