What Multicultural Millennials Can Teach You About Brand Identity

by Jesús Acosta, Art Director

There’s a saying in Spanish – de la moda, lo que te acomoda – (from what’s fashionable or trendy, use only what really fits you). Brands, just like people, try to keep up with trends to stay relevant. Sometimes it seems that jumping onto a trend because others are doing is a cool thing to do, but then we realize that we may have sacrificed some of our self-identity. It happened to some brands not too long ago when they went too far into changing their logotypes to a straight and clean sans-serif font to follow a trend. As they jumped into the fad, they sacrificed a lot of brand personality for a trendy but bland look. The most notorious cases were Tropicana and Gap, but Arby’s, Long John Silver’s and Pizza Hut also did it and then quickly changed back their logotypes to letterforms that restored their brand identity.


Stay True To Your Roots To Define What Makes Your Brand Unique

It’s interesting to see how multicultural millennials are looking back to their roots and embracing them to define how they show their individuality – and not only in the clothes they wear, but also in their tastes for music, food, etc. We are starting to observe a similar trend in brands – as they’re looking back to what makes them who they are – their heritage. In the end, our roots are what make us who we are and define our personality. This keeps the brand current, while keeping its unique personality.


Bacardi looked back at its bat symbols from the early 1900s and its new logotype has bold clean letterforms influenced by the Cuban Art Deco style from the 1920s. Bud Light and Budweiser recently got an update, taking elements from their early days and catching up with a successful change done by Miller Lite a couple years ago.


More recently, DC Comics unveiled a new brand identity that nods to their logos from the 1970s. It replaces a logo that showed a clever visual pun to a super hero double identity but with letterforms so generic, the logo could be for a label company as well. The new logo brings back the letterforms with straight sharp lines and forms that feel more in the superhero world. This brand redesign is not only cosmetic, but it will also be reflected in the new upcoming comics and movies. DC’s CEO, Geoff Johns referred to the new brand and comics as being “built on what’s come before while looking to what will come tomorrow.”




Authenticity Will Help You Stand Out

Once we stay strong to our roots to define how we look, a unique brand identity will stand out on its own. From the grey generic sea of brands, some stick out as true for who they are. Arby’s is the fast food sandwich restaurant with BBQ roots. Bacardi is the Caribbean rum that has been around since before Prohibition. And Miller Lite is the original light beer. Whether people like this or not, their goal is to return to their heritage and stay authentic – ultimately to themselves.
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