Branding Issues: Flickr + Yahoo + Microsoft


While this logo mashup is a bit extreme, in some executives eyes this would be perfectly acceptable corporate synergy for a couple brands. I know, it’s scary. The bigger question is this: you’re a reputable brand consultancy and a big west coast client comes to you asking for advice. They’re three brands that want to keep their own separate cultures, but share resources. The deal breaker is that they’re not willing to rebrand into a new organizational name, and the logos can’t change. What do you do aside from respectfully declining the job? Is there a smart solution—I may be mistaken but I don’t think Philip Meggs ever documented a case study like this.

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  • inakiescudero

    Interesting dilemma.
    My question is this, is the logo for the consumer or for B to B purposes?

    I ask because logos are a reason of pride for brands but consumers are more practical, and not so stuck in logos and taglines.
    What are you offering to me?
    what is this service for?
    How are you better my life?

    Perhaps the question to solve your riddle should be asked from the consumers mindset instead of from the brand mindset?

  • michaelsurtees

    Good questions, I'd say for both consumer and B2B…

  • Matt Daniels

    I don't blame Yahoo for the logo change. Most people probably don't realize that Flickr is owned by Yahoo. From a shareholder perspective, it makes sense to put a few of its properties under the Yahoo masterbrand.

    Your example is a tough case. From a brand consulting perspective, I'd consider which brands have the most equity and stick with that. But to your point, there is so much bureaucracy that it wouldn't matter what the data showed. Perhaps it's just the company with the most power?

  • Jon Proeber

    That is a little bizzarre considering both Microsoft and Yahoo! just launched competing $100 million “search” ad campaigns. Nonetheless, I do find it extremely profitable to give brand's another boost of mindshare by putting their logo in places like this.

  • Paul

    I've only recently noticed the “by Yahoo” addition to the Flickr logo. I did a web search and found a Flickr blog from 2005 mentioning the acquisition and they assured users that nothing, including the Flickr logo , would ever change.