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Branding for the Instagram generation

After hearing the news that luxury ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs has completely overhauled its brand in a bid to appeal to the ‘Instagram generation’, we look at the role social media has played in influencing companies’ decisions to rebrand over the past 12 months.

We’ve all been there. You’re in a restaurant, bar or even a salad bar, and someone is sat perched over their meal next to you taking a picture for social media. In fact, it seems you can’t go anywhere nowadays without people documenting their experience online. Welcome to the ‘Instagram generation’!

And, whilst the rise of social media channels such as Instagram have changed our experiences in everyday life, they have also changed the way businesses market themselves. Not only have they transformed the way we communicate with existing and potential customers, they’ve also changed the way we look at and perceive brands.

For consumer brands in particular, it’s now more important than ever to think about how their products look, how their brand is represented and how customers can engage with them online. Which begs a question worthy of any business owner asking, is my brand ‘Instagrammable?’

Now, not every business need worry about the Instagram generation – for many B2B businesses, it may not be a concern at all.

However, for those thinking of looking at how they are represented online, here’s how other brands have made sure they’re catering for the Instagram generation…



Iconic fashion house Burberry has had to undergo a series of brand overhauls in recent years, fighting off everything from counterfeiters to football hooligans.

However, whilst these challenges have seen the brand continuously shake-up its product range, it wasn’t until last month when the company took the brave decision of redesigning its logo for the first time in two decades.

Working with renowned art director and graphic designer Peter Saville, Burberry took to Instagram to unveil a new look logo, taking inspiration from the record sleeves Saville created, most notably for Joy Division and New Order.

CEO Riccardo Tisci took the unusual step of releasing the first images of the new logo via Burberry’s Instagram account, revealing the email trail with Saville which helped him design the artwork.

A telling sign of just how important a tool social media is becoming for brands when engaging with their key customers.


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Over the years, Haagen-Dazs has established itself as the luxury ice cream brand of choice for consumers across the globe.

However, whilst the ice cream inside remained peerless, the brand realised that its outer brand look and feel was starting to look old and out of touch with its modern, young consumers.

With this in mind, the brand decided to rebrand and hired a creative agency to help completely overhaul its look and feel.

The agency looked at the brands heritage and decided to intertwine the story which inspired entrepreneur Reuben Mattus to launch the company with a new look for the 21stcentury.

Obsessed with quality ingredients and inspired by the old-world elegance of Scandinavian design, they reintroduced Scandi design principles of simplicity, elegance, balance and proportion to update the brand’s packaging and transformed all of its marketing collateral.

Haagen-Dazs were also aware that the ‘Instagram generation’ are constantly on their phones, which is why they redesign the packaging with Instagram in mind. “We want you to be so proud to take your picture with it,” said Global VP and Marketing Director Jennifer Jorgensen.





The Scouts decided to adopt a new brand and visual identity earlier this year which included a new logo, colour palette, free brand font and tone of voice.

The changes come 17 years after the last major overhaul of the brand, and coincides with the launch of a new five-year strategy: Skills for Life: Our plan to prepare better futures.

Developed in partnership with volunteers, and following consultation and testing with 7,000 people, the Scouts developed a new visual identity reflecting scouting in the digital age, while still retaining its strong heritage – including the iconic fleur-de-lis.

In testing, both adults and young people responded well to the new brand, with parents saying they were 44% more likely to volunteer after seeing the new materials.

Helping raise awareness of the new brand among the ‘Instagram generation’, the organisation also adopted the #SkillsForLife hashtag to drive the message home.

US Open

The organisers of the US Open tennis tournament decided to refresh their branding to celebrate their 50thanniversary earlier this year.

The mark that had been used for 20 years — an illustration of a flaming ball paired with thin serif type and a red swoosh — was a complicated image that had challenges in digital media and they didn’t feel as if it represented the tournament well as a premium sporting and entertainment brand.

Working with creative agency Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, the brand briefed the firm to create something which would “translate well onto digital platforms” and “modernise our look, providing a more youthful appeal, and optimising the identity for applications on everything from apps and Instagram to billboards, print ads, and swag.”

The result is as follows…



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Louise Bradford
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