Logitech is pulling a Diddy.
Logitech announced Wednesday it is undergoing a major rebranding effort with a greater focus on design, with some of its latest products sold under a new moniker: Logi. The company is calling it the biggest transformation in its history.
The move comes as there is a big push for tech companies to be design-forward: it is no longer enough to simply put function over form. Logitech’s design revolution will come in the form of bright colors and clean design, which it is previewing in its social media and in a promo video posted to its YouTube page.
The products teased look quite a bit like portable Bluetooth speakers made by Ultimate Ears, a company Logitech acquired in 2008. It stands in sharp contrast to the functional, but not exactly beautiful products Logitech is known for.
The Microsoft (née Nokia) Lumia phones which launched in 2011 seem to have spearheaded the movement towards bright and bold design in tech. Many Microsoft products which followed took on similar design sensibilities, and Apple joined in on the fun with the iPhone 5C in 2013.
Logitech’s products are certainly due for a design refresh, but name-changes are always a tricky venture. The public has a way of ridiculing name changes it finds ridiculous: does anyone remember New Coke, or the time when Netflix decided its DVD rental service would be called Qwikster?
On the other hand, the modern success of Apple is owed much to Steve Jobs’ design-focused rebranding when he became CEO in 1997. Those colorful iMacs saved the company.
Logitech, the name, isn’t quite dead yet: Logi will be reserved for the companies’ newer products and product categories, but it seems like -tech suffix will be phased out gradually.
The company is jettisoning “tech” because it’s superfluous in the 21st century.
“When the company was founded in 1981, tech was almost a new term. Logitech needed ‘tech’ to be a part of its name so consumers could understand that Logitech was a technology company. Today, technology rules our lives. The presence of it is implied, making ‘tech’ nonessential to the name,” said a Logitech representative in an email to Mashable.
This is marketing speak, but marketing speak with an element of truth. Companies which wouldn’t have been considered tech companies 15 years ago are most definitely tech companies now.
“If you start with the name Logitech, you think of us as a peripheral company. Now, that was a wonderful thing, but we’re moving out of that,” said Logitech’s CEO Bracken P. Darrell in an interview with Mashable. “This is really about catching the brand up internally.”
The first product to be branded Logi will debut soon, with another coming in the fall. We’ll have to see how the public like the name change, as Logitech didn’t undertake any outside testing of the rebranding.