Brand check: And it went "zoooooom"!

Heinrich Paravicini from Mutabor takes a close look at brand relaunches and brand designs for This time: How Zoom phenomenally relies on the word mark to communicate its portfolio expansion.

The video communication app Zoom has been on the market for more than a decade. But it wasn't until 2020 that it really took off. We all know why - and many of us are among its 300 million or so daily active users (for comparison, as of December 2019, the app had about 10 million daily users). This is what pandemic winners look like.

And that's exactly what this brand check is about: its appearance. Since its launch in 2011, the app has not adjusted its appearance. Now it was time to turn the video chat service into a real brand. With new services that go beyond the original offering - team chat, meetings, whiteboards, live events, et cetera.

"Zoom is becoming a communications platform, and will continue to evolve and expand," says Chief Marketing Officer Janine Pelosi. Zoom knows that hybrid working is here to stay and that the new-work zeitgeist has long since dawned. Now the company is leveraging its brand recognition to expand and communicate its portfolio. And they do it phenomenally well: they simply use their logo, its onomatopoeic sound, and the figurative meaning of the word "zoom."

Each animated "o" now stands for a service - number open in the future - currently there are six: Zoooooom! In a simple animation the whole story is told and remains immediately in the head.

Of course, the typography was also adjusted, the icons as well as the blue tone - but that's not the reason why I find this work so successful. When you think about brand line extensions and their communication, your head is quickly full of arguments, campaigns and a bunch of complexity. Here, someone "just thought" in the best sense. All the potential was there in the name and the brand itself - just like the perceptual-psychological trigger: the meaning of the word already creates the head cinema.

Even if some voices compare this design with the old Google Search display (with also many "o"-s) and suspect a copy there, this does not affect the designers of the new appearance in my opinion: Because what was just a nice effect at Google back then is really good branding here.

So here's my message: Before you start thinking in terms of big, new campaigns, visuals and concepts for communicating an expanded portfolio, take a closer look at your existing brand. Maybe the treasure is already buried there. You just need to lift it - or have it lifted.

By the way, this branding step will not be the end of the story; Zoom has already announced further design innovations. These will be presented at the in-house "Zoomtopia" conference on November 8 and 9, 2022. We can look forward with anticipation.

* Heinrich Paravicini is founder and creative director of Mutabor.

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