Here’s how the pandemic caused a temporary change to an iconic logo
The world has changed in 2020 in ways that many simply couldn’t have predicted. The coronavirus pandemic has etched remote working, social distancing and wearing a mask in the memories of a generation. One company made the unexpected decision to update its distinctive and easily recognizable logo to make it something more relevant to its time.
In this episode of fool live airing on November 23, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner and Fool.com contributor Danny Vena were joined by Federico Sandler, Free Mercado‘s (NASDAQ: MELI) head of investor relations, who explained why the company temporarily changed its “shake hands” logo.
David Gardner: Federico, I wanted to ask you about a brand management decision that caught my attention as I do a weekly podcast called Investments that break the rules, and I received a wonderful letter written in my mailbag regarding the decision to change the MercadoLibre logo and what it tells us about your business and your brand management. Can you describe what you did in 2020?
Federico Sandler: Yes. Because obviously the pandemic required social distancing, and we are good corporate citizens, and we also want to help not only our shareholders, but our stakeholders, what we have done is for those who know the story better. Usually, the MercadoLibre logo was a handshake, and now it’s neck and neck. The idea is that the campaign is to call it “We’re neck and neck in tough times until we can shake hands again”. We have changed the logos, both Pago and MELI from a handshake to a neck to neck so as to also raise awareness of distancing, but eventually we will be able to shake hands again as we have. done in the past. It’s served pretty well, I would say, as a branding exercise. But also, we donated to food banks all over the region, worked with the Red Cross, but we were one of the first companies to change the logos and then we saw other companies listed on the stock exchange. do it.
Gardner: Well I thought it was pretty bright. It was pointed out to me that it takes courage, potentially. You operate in some countries that weren’t the most attentive to best practices, sometimes governments are not so good – the US could be an example – at curbing the virus due to some of the decisions and communications of leaders. When you market yourself as a prominent and well-known company doing this, have you received any criticism, criticism? Did you have any concerns about this?
Sandler: Not at all. In fact, we have had a very good feedback. Like I said, a lot of companies, not only locally but regionally, have started trying to polish their logos to show off or try to help on the social distancing side. So no, not at all. I would say on the contrary, it was incredibly useful. We appeared in the newspapers. This brand positioning was very positive. In fact, we also plot planes. It was very positive.
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