In the age of online engagement and social media, a company’s aesthetic can mean everything. And that isn’t only true for newer companies, or personal brands. Any companies that are trying to engage with potential customers must, at the very least, be aware of how to present a fresh, modern image.
There are quite a few brands that have refreshed themselves largely through image makeovers alone, proving the significance of the look and basic presentation of an online company or website. Here are four examples of companies and categories that demonstrate this particularly effectively.
1. Sportswear Brands
With Nike and to some extent Adidas having long dominated sports apparel branding, we’ve actually seen some of their competitors ramping up their efforts in this department. Most notably, Reebok has undergone a total image upheaval. In the past, the shoes were somewhat undesirable, and they were presented on digital platforms with little more excitement than what one would expect from a warehouse catalogue. Now, however, all f this looks decidedly stylish. Colourful web design, fun graphics, and sleek photos are enough to make Reebok seem like a whole new product.
Champion, too, managed to make a total comeback over the course of the last few years. Many thought that the sportswear brand was essentially petering out long after its ’90s heyday. But based on a semi-retro look and better branding, a new heyday is upon the company. Its minimal designs have enabled it to become one of the most popular streetwear brands around – and it certainly hasn’t hurt that celebrities like Selena Gomez, Scott Disick, and Hailey Baldwin have often been spotted sporting Champion gear. That being said, Champion’s global brand ambassador, Manny Martinez believes the clothing company has enough pull on its own.
“I think we’re in a golden hour. The brand doesn’t actually need collabs right now. Not that we don’t appreciate them, but now is when the brand can live on its own,” said Martinez in 2017. “When you see Kylie Jenner wearing the brand on her own, it’s not because it’s a collab. You see people wearing it because it’s Champion. That’s the beauty of it.”
To some extent, this seems like a wholly organic rebirth of an older brand. But rest assured, a modernized web presence has helped quite a bit.
2. Slot Arcades
Among many, particularly in younger generations, slot machines have a certain less-than-flattering reputation. We associate them with large banks of annoying, jingling machines in casinos, or sad gaming options in remote hotel lobbies. We think of people who are down on their luck hoping for big wins, or elderly casino patrons slowly inserting coins and chips for hours on end.
This image has changed pretty drastically these last few years though, thanks to newer slot sites that have emerged and steadily improved across the internet. Stemming from various international casino providers, these slots have modernized the entire slot experience – not only digitizing it, but making it more akin to playing other types of modern video games. Today’s online slots are presented with cover images, engaging graphics, and sometimes even character-based storylines – all with the eye-catching flare of digital casinos.
Now, to some extent, this is as much about the product itself evolving as any sort of change in imagery or branding. However, there’s still something to be said even for digital slots presenting themselves like arcade games, rather than just electronic versions of what’s found on casino floors.
3. Stock Trading Applications
Just a couple years ago, if someone had mentioned online stock trading applications to you, it’s likely you would have pictured something about as exciting as a titled spreadsheet. Online brokers and similar services have long been all about the business, offering very little in the way of interactive features or visual appeal. More recently though, some newer services have turned this stale image on its head and roped in a generation of new investors in the process.
Robinhood is perhaps the most noteworthy service. This service is essentially a digital broker, offered in website and app form, and built to attract users via low-fee offerings and ease of use. It’s the look of Robinhood though, as well as that of some of its contemporaries (like Stash and Acorns) that is doing most of the work. Simply put, these are modern-looking tools, not just attractive but inviting to new customers. They’ve proven that a trading application can actually be a pleasure to use.
4. Diet Coke
By now, it seems that just about everyone (and particularly members of younger generations) is privy to the idea that diet soda isn’t actually a healthier option. But that’s exactly why Coca-Cola has reworked the marketing scheme for this ever-popular beverage (rather than giving up on it or allowing its image to decline). Simply put, the company has stopped branding Diet Coke as a healthier alternative to regular soft drinks. Instead, it has just made the cans themselves look more appealing, both in person and in digital ads. Today’s Diet Coke cans are sleeker and more colourful, making them aesthetically pleasing, and actually persuading people to keep buying and drinking.
“It grew in revenue and it grew in volume,” explained Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey. “I think it’s a combination of some marketing inviting reconsideration for a generation where perhaps not all of them connected to Diet Coke. They found something that they like in what is ultimately a great-tasting beverage.”
And it happened entirely through a change in image.