Why do redesigns receive so much flak? Because people are passionate and largely resist change. Even a “great design” may be rejected if it violates consumers’ sense of “how things should be.” That’s because the human mind sees good and bad through a lens of context. Branding works because people have a basic human need to distinguish one thing from another. People either accept or reject changes in brand identity based on how well those changes align with their own experience and expectations of that brand. A new identity that violates what the mind knows to be true is often met with disappointment and disapproval.
Consumers use brands as a method of augmenting their own identities, and a change considered “off brand” can clash with the consumer’s own sense of self. However, there is a far more utilitarian benefit to a consistent brand identity – wayfinding.