Today, the company is debuting a more minimalist look as part of a major brand overhaul, which Intel Chief Marketing Officer Karen Walker says helps the tech giant rely less on its legacy—or its iconic swirl. “We really felt our current brand kind of reinforced our current legacy versus our future,” Walker said in an interview. “We seem to be looking backwards versus forwards.
The dot on the "i" in Intel’s new logo symbolizes the company’s semiconductor history. “I don’t like gimmicky stuff,” Walker said. “It’s candy, it’s not long-lasting, and I’m not sure you can tie it back to real business impact, which is driving the growth of our company…The brand is going to have to work harder for growth in service of our products, our people, and our partners.
The 2020 version is a combination of the two, including removing the swirl, which John Coyne, Intel’s vice president of brand, said had the brand “locked in an era” that “felt about 20 years ago. ” (The company also even considered removing everything but the letter “i,” but Walker said they decided that was too far—at least for now.
For example, red is important in Japan, so Intel’s marketing in the country will include more red. “People freaked out just a little bit when we showed them the color palette because the company is so anchored in blue,” Walker said. “But we blue-wash everything, it just loses its vibrancy.
Asked about timing of a major rebrand during the middle of a pandemic, Walker said the company wanted to be “thoughtful and not tone deaf. ” That gave them pause on the phrasing “do something wonderful,” Walker said, explaining that some people might say they’d do something wonderful if they weren’t locked up at home.