Logitech, the company most of us still know for selling that very nice computer mouse we bought around the first time we dialed in to AOL, is about to drop the “tech.” As part of a new rebranding, the company will simply go by Logi (pronounced “lodge-ee”).
“This is not just a one-year move, but a move for what we’re going to look like in the next decade,” explains CEO Bracken Darrell. “Tech as we used to define it is moving into everything. We think having something called ‘tech’ is going to look 1980s pretty soon if it doesn’t already.”
The rebranding, which was performed by Design Studios, is part of Darrell’s grand strategy for the company. Last April, Co.Design detailed how Darrell has spent the last three years spearheading a design-led turnaround for the company. He hired Alastair Curtis, the former Chief Designer at Nokia. He let Curtis build out an internal, cross-discipline design team that could consult on anything from Logitech’s UX to its marketing. And he took Logitech’s R&D budget—about $100 million that was mostly being spent on mice—and placed it into three growth categories he thought it could seriously compete: Bluetooth speakers, teleconferencing systems, and tablet accessories.
So far, Darrell’s bets have paid off, and Logitech—or, I guess it’s just Logi now?—is as profitable as it’s been in seven years. But as he and Curtis assure me, Logi is just getting started. The company has a slew of unannounced new products hitting over the next year that will push the Logi brand into new lifestyle-product territory. While we don’t yet know what these products will actually be—the team has alluded to clothing more than once, although it’s probably too early for that—the products will feature “fearless color,” since the brash finishes of the UE Boom have been welcomed by the mass market. Black and silver are no longer the mainstays for the company. In fact, 30% of all sales of a recent Logitech enterprise teleconferencing system were in hot pink.
“Is any tech product a tech product anymore, or is it really a consumer product?” Darrell asks. “That’s the orientation we’re taking to every product line.”
Meanwhile, Curtis is quick to point out the practical merits of “Logi” over “Logitech.” Not only does it roll off the tongue with a quick two syllables like Nike, Apple, or Fedex, it’s half the letters to squeeze onto a device. The new logo also ditches the awkwardly painted eyeball, since only 6% of consumers made a connection with the eye to the brand. That eyeball had been introduced in 1988 to convey that Logitech was keeping an eye on its consumers. (Yes, creepy.)
But in its cleverest twist, the new brand attempts to anticipate Logitech’s future UI. Logitech sounds like a corporation, he says. But Logi? That’s a person.
“I think, looking into the future of speech recognition, how we talk and communicate with things will change,” he says, giving a nod to Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. “[Logi] helps us be a lot more personal in that world.”
Logi devices will be on store shelves soon, though Logitech will continue to be used in the branding of PC peripherals like mice. Bracken hopes to grandfather all Logitech branding out over the next few years.
An earlier dek of this story said Logitech was shortening its “name,” when the company name will technically remain the same, but its brand will become “Logi.”