Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:02

A Kobe Rebrand - Thoughts From A Denver Logo Design Company

The world was shocked in the final days of January 2020 by the death of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers basketball star, his daughter, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California. Following his death, an online petition was started to call for the NBA to change its logo to feature Kobe Bryant. Within just two days, the petition reached over 2 million signatures! Despite the fervent public support, it still remains unclear whether the NBA will adjust the logo or not. In the wake of all this news, we wanted to share a few thoughts on rebranding a top Denver logo design company.

An Appropriate Rebranding

Is there honestly a better way to honor the tragic death of a basketball legend? We’d argue that there isn’t. As a Denver logo design company, we know that rebranding isn’t always easy, even when it’s just a tiny change. When you rebrand, there are a lot of moving pieces that can quickly get confusing. That confusion can become amplified when the rebranding has to take place on an international scale. Given all that, a refreshed logo would still be well worth the effort for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

It is abundantly clear that Kobe Bryant had an incredible influence on the world in numerous ways. During the span of his 20-year career with the L.A. Lakers, Bryant helped lead the way and became a five-time NBA champion. While Bryant drove his team to victory plenty of times, he inspired an uncountable number of people with his competitive spirit. His accomplishments didn’t stop when he decided to retire.

Following his time on the court, Bryant turned his attention to more marketing and creative projects. Guided by his entrepreneurial spirit, Bryant founded his own company, Kobe, Inc., in 2014. Bryant began an impressive advertising career, working both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. The Lakers player worked with the likes of BodyArmor, Turkish Airlines, Nike, and many other large advertisers. Bryant even became an Academy Award winning storyteller in 2018 for his work on the animated short, “Dear Basketball.” Kobe Bryant clearly had a profound global impact and his untimely death sent shockwaves across the globe.

From our perspective, it really makes sense to refresh the NBA logo to feature Kobe Bryant. It would also be very fitting, as the current logo (which has been in use for more than 50 years) is based on Jerry West. West was another L.A. Lakers legend who became the team’s general manager in 1982 and acquired Kobe Bryant for the Lakers in 1996.

A Few Considerations

As a Denver logo design company, we’re positive that the NBA is currently considering this rebranding initiative. After all, the petition now has over 3 million signatures and there are a number of similar petitions circulating online. The fans seem to want a refreshed logo and the NBA would be wise to listen to their fans. While there are a number of pros to the situation, there could also be some cons that the NBA will need to consider.

We believe that there are at least three things that the NBA will need to consider before they choose to rebrand. They are:

  • The heavy costs associated with rebranding. If the logo is refreshed it will need to be updated everywhere and it will need to be thoroughly marketed, as well. From the production costs to the marketing expenses, a rebranding initiative could cost the NBA a pretty penny.

  • The timing and scheduling of the rebranding efforts. The NBA is currently right in the middle of the 2019-2020 NBA season. It could be a logistical nightmare to issue out new gear, merchandise, and the like right now. They may need to wait until the next basketball season for a smoother rebranding experience.

  • The permanence of the brand refresh. At this time, it is unclear whether a refreshed silhouette would be a permanent branding effort or just a temporary change to honor the legend. Would Kobe’s silhouette last on the logo forever or for only a few years?

The NBA may need to additionally account for any future rebranding efforts. Companies don’t rebrand often, but if the NBA changes their logo now it could have implications for the future of the organization.

Kobe Bryant clearly had a remarkable impression on the world. No one can dispute that fact, but it’s worth mentioning that Bryant has not been the only NBA player to have a positive influence on the world. A number of other historic and Hall of Fame NBA players have had considerable nationwide and global impacts, as well.

Michael Jordan, for instance, has raised tremendous amounts of funds for various charities after his time in the NBA. Lebron James, another notable Lakers player, has been called the “face of the NBA” by some and he has acted as a prominent social activist throughout his career. These players, and many more, have contributed greatly to our modern society.

It is difficult (and maybe even impossible) to accurately and fairly weigh the societal and cultural impacts of one player over another. Who can really say that one NBA player had a more significant social influence than another? The future is unpredictable and, as we saw in January, legendary NBA players can be taken from us in a heartbeat. Of course, we hope for the best and wish no ill will on anyone, but this situation begs the question:

Would the NBA be willing to revamp the logo once more in the wake of another tragedy? Would it be equitable to change the featured player again should tragedy strike?

It’s a difficult question that has no clear answer, but it’s worth asking at this moment. As a top Denver logo design company, we fully support the initiative to change the NBA logo to feature Bryant.

A quote image over a basketball. Our Denver logo design company will be thinking of Kobe Bryant and his influence on the advertising world for some time to come.

When Is It Right To Rebrand?

At the end of the day, one fact remains clear: Rebranding is hard. It’s an arduous process that requires a ton of strategic planning, numerous design iterations, and much more. Ask any logo design company and they’ll tell you that refreshing a company logo is difficult work.

Your company can’t rebrand every year! Your brand represents who you are as a business. Every piece of your brand needs to reflect your core values and your unique value proposition. When you rebrand or change your logo, it must be backed up by a valid reason. The WNBA rebranded their organization earlier in 2019 and they had crystal clear reasons for the change.

As an agency, we believe that you should only ever change your logo and branding if:

  • You need to better differentiate your company from the competition.

  • Your current logo is outdated and needs to be refreshed to match the era.

  • Your company has a poor reputation that you need to outgrow.

  • Your business is evolving and you’ve moved away from the original identity of the company.

There are, of course, exceptions to our guiding rules. If the NBA chose to refresh their logo to feature Kobe Bryant, they would be meeting the wants and needs of their target audience. It would be the right move from a PR standpoint and it would reflect positively on their organization. Whatever the NBA decides to do, we know that we’ll be thinking of Kobe and his global influence for some time to come.

Refresh Your Brand With A Top Denver Logo Design Company

The rebranding process can't take place overnight. You need to think through every little detail as thoroughly as possible. If you’re thinking about rebranding your small business, FiG Advertising + Marketing is here to help. Our graphic design professionals are ready to help take your rebranded vision and turn it into a reality. We’ll work diligently to ensure that your rebranding efforts are seamless, effective, and impressive.

Contact our leading Denver logo design company today to learn how we can improve your brand.