Yahoo!’s Logo and a Lesson in Reputation Management

By Lisa Dunn | Small Business

Yahoo!’s Logo and a Lesson in Reputation Management image YahooLogoDay6Yahoo!’s Logo and a Lesson in Reputation Management

Online, reputation is everything. It begins and ends with your logo. That illustration you slaved over, fought over and celebrated over. It sits on your website, on your social media, your content – everything it touches becomes intrinsically linked to your business.

So why would you go and change it? Maybe we should be posing this question to Marissa Mayer, as next in the firing line as part of her overhaul strategy is the iconic Yahoo logo.

30 Days of Change

Hype is a delicate creature. You can encourage it and it will blossom. Or you can force it and it will hide in a corner refusing to come out. Initially the “hype” Yahoo intended on creating around their new logo unveiling was met with confusion, at least around the office anyway.

Called their 30 Days of Change, Yahoo will sport a new logo every day for 30 days before the new official logo is revealed in September. I can tell you’re on the edge of your seat.

I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. Why such a big fuss about a logo? But this is not a new phenomenon.

Re-Branding Online and Offline

For starters, Google changes its logo on a regular basis. The Google Doodle has graced our search bars since its inception with the 1998 Burning Man Festival.

Besides this, Google have also had their fair share of re-vamps, from the garish 1998 computer graphics, to their tongue-in-cheek exclamation point to the now trademark, somewhat understated insignia.

Of course Google aren’t the only ones to make waves with seemingly simplistic logo revamps. News of Ikea’s decision to change its typeface in 2009 gained unprecedented public attention.

Dubbed “Verdanagate” by design enthusiasts, Ikea moved from its trademark Futura typeface to Verdana, which was originally a Microsoft font designed for use on screens, not on the sides of buildings. Ikea’s intentions were to align their online and offline branding, which made Verdana a clear winner.

The decision caused such a media storm that at one stage the story made the New York Times. It’s this scale of storm Yahoo seem to be attempting to replicate.

Re-Branding and Reputation Management

Reputation management is an on-going process. It’s more than just listening to what people say about you online and pricking your ears when you hear something negative. Reputation management is highly involved. From constantly interacting with social media, engaging with content and doing everything you can to craft the image you portray online.

Just as your online reputation isn’t static, experiencing surges and drops in popularity, your brand can’t be either. A fundamental aspect of managing your reputation is managing your brand.

This is what I feel Yahoo are doing. Yahoo has a considerable legacy audience, but fall short on attracting younger users. So far attempts to combat this include the not-so-recent Flickr re-vamp and the not-news-anymore acquisition of Tumblr. Note the distinct lack of “e”, all the kids are doing it nowadays. Or so I’m told.

Brand Awareness and Reputation Management

It’s fair to say brand awareness and reputation management go hand in hand especially online. Manage your brand and you manage your reputation, monitor your reputation and keep an eye on your brand.

Any business, B2B or B2C, can learn from Yahoo’s self-made-makeover. Maybe we don’t all need an overhaul on the same scale, but it’s a prime example of keeping something fresh online.

However the final logo turns out, we know it will still be purple and still have an exclamation point – so will it really be all that different? Does it really need to be?

In the end, it’s not about the logo with Yahoo, it’s about the hype (no matter how contrived it may seem). It’s still all about managing your image online.

Creating your perfect online brand, comes down to creating Winning Content. Download our whitepaper today to learn more.

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