- Arun Gopidas
Making sense of the Mi (Xiaomi) Re-brand (Opinion Piece)
Xiaomi changed their logo & memes have already started to flood the internet.
It seems like an extremely simple change, one which most of us won't even realise.
But I find rebrands amusing & I decided to investigate.
Before we get into the specifics of the rebrand, it's important to understand why such a simple change makes sense. Xiaomi started in 2010 with a logo which lasted for 4 months before they shifted to the logo we know today.
For the last 10 years they stuck to the same design, and when a logo exists for that long it builds brand equity. With a brand like Xiaomi which holds 11% global market share, their logo becomes a part of their legacy. Any drastic change is a huge risk, and keeping things recognisable for their audience becomes a key factor to consider when going into a rebranding exercise.
Another factor to keep in mind is that the visual part of a rebrand is just the tip of the iceberg, rebrands are often used to align internal & external stakeholders of the brand. Rebrands are also used strategically to generate awareness for the brand.
Now let's come to the rebrand itself. Designed by Kenya Hara, one of the first things I discovered was that they had used a mathematical equation to find the perfect shape in between a circle and a square. They choose from an array of shapes between a square & a circle. I don't intend to be disrespectful of his work, but that sounds absurd to me.
As I dived deeper, I found it interesting that the change in logo is a strategic move to demarcate their product lines as well: The premium products would be branded with the logotype.
At the core of this rebrand is the concept of 'Alive' & brings together the companies belief in a simpler, clearer & profound communication:
The more technology evolves, the closer it will be to the form of life.
The most delightful part about this identity is how the logo breathes, and that's what really brought everything together for me.
What's unfortunate though is that, the one aspect of this identity I fell in love with hasn't been implemented in all its glory. I would have loved to see a breathing logo on their website as well, but it's not there.
I doubt if it was a technical challenge that stopped them from implementing it. This is one of the issues I find with most brands today, the seamlessness between the identity design & their reproduction on web interfaces is missing. These are the gaps in design & technology that we need to start filling in.
And that's all I have to say about this rebrand. What are your thoughts on this?