When going mobile and developing an app, it is almost completely necessary to have a symbol outside of your company’s name to represent it. However, Adding an icon to the name has not always gone well, as Sears found out in 2019. With sales plummeting in recent years due to rise in e-commerce and further hindered by the coronavirus, they decided to give their 2010 logo a reboot. Emboldening the font, and adding an icon to encapsulate the ideas of “home and heart”. Seems like a good idea from the outside except for one thing: the symbol looked IDENTICAL to the icon that Airbnb adopted in 2014.
In response to the criticism, Sears released a statement explaining their rationale: "The new icon was created to represent both home and heart, this shape also conveys motion through an infinity loop, reminiscent of one getting their arms around both home and life. The rings, like those of a tree trunk, show longevity. With home and heart at the center, the rings radiate and grow to encompass our broad assortment of products and services." In my opinion, any logo that attempts to incorporate an infinity loop is doomed to be cliché, but nevertheless this statement did resolve much of the anger that they plagiarized the logo. Additionally, the emboldening of the typeface was successful in helping the logo work on any screen size because the thin font is tough to read on a small interface.
The final element of their physical rebrand was a new slogan: “making moments matter”. This slogan was intended for their target audience: baby boomers and young families. This makes a lot of sense in accordance with their campaign to shut down some of the large stores, and open up a bunch of smaller stores centered around home + life. Just because it makes sense on paper, doesn’t mean that will directly translate in sales. I believe they should have taken a more customer-centric approach with their rebrand and done more integration with e-commerce. Time will tell if their efforts will prevail, or if they will go under.
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