I’ve had a beard since University. That’s forty years ago. It started out of pure laziness and then became a habit. Even I would say part of my ‘brand’.
Well on New Years Day I shaved it off. I’d been building up to it for some time and somehow or other, I didn’t wimp out at the last moment. God I looked different. Jowly, florid and worst of all, just like my brother. I didn’t want to go out. I covered myself with a scarf, but eventually on my first day back at work, I had to reveal my new pink self.
No one even noticed! And mine wasn’t a George Michael affair; it was the full Fidel Castro – albeit in shades of grey and ginger. How could they not see the difference? Even when I pointed out the hirsuitlessness, people kind of shrugged their shoulders and got back to talking about themselves.
This untraumatic experience made me realise just how different brand owners and brand users are when it comes to updating packaging or corporate identity. We are far more defensive and concerned than our users. They just want to get on with their lives, not agonise over a new pantone colour or updated font. As long as your brand values don’t change then people will accept your design updating with an indifference you’ll find staggering. Just like losing forty years of bristle and receiving total indifference.