Absa is changing its logo - and may swap red for 'deep orange'

Business Insider SA
Absa's current logo next to the logo of motorbike group KTM.
  • Absa will reportedly soon have a new orange logo.
  • The logo's colour may look similar to the 'deep orange' of the motorbike group KTM, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday morning.
  • Absa told Business Insider South Africa that more information will be revealed on July 11. 

Absa will soon have a new orange logo and slogan to “reflect their African identity”, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday morning.

Recently CellC also changed its corporate colour to orange

Absa’s new logo will reportedly be a "deep orange" similar to that of the motorbike group KTM. It will form part of the bank’s new corporate identity after the UK group Barclays sold its majority holding in Absa.

Absa received approval from shareholders in May to change its name back to Absa Group (from Barclays Africa). 

Absa did not want to confirm the logo change to Business Insider South Africa, but said more will be revealed at an event on July 11. 

The company referred BI to a statement in March, when CEO Maria Ramos said the name change allows the group “the opportunity to roll out a brand that reflects our identity in Africa and to unite our operations in 10 countries behind one name”.

“We will be Absa, not as you know it, but relaunched, re-presented and with an identity fit for the new and forward-looking business we are creating,” Ramos said at the time. 

Kim Smith, senior designer at Cape Town-based branding consultancy Alliance Brands, said orange seems to be a trending colour for corporate rebranding.  

"The jump from red to orange is not a big one within the colour spectrum, but the emotional connections to the new shade play into what they're claiming to want to do strategically: grab the attention of a younger market that make up the majority of the African population," Smith told Business Insider South Africa. 

"It will certainly portray a more 'playful' and approachable side to the brand, which has been consistently serious and reliable in red, for as long as I can remember." 

She said a good redesign goes beyond the aesthetic of a brand. "While a visual refresh is a great way to stay relevant and with the times, all too often the strategy behind the change is lacking and ill-considered."

Jeremy Sampson, executive director at Brand Finance Africa, previously told Business Insider South Africa that companies, depending on what sector they are in, need to "refresh" their brands every five to ten years. 

Absa logo and corporate identity have stayed relatively constant since 1994.

“In South Africa, half its population is under the age of 24. [You] can't afford to look old and frumpy, behind the curve,” Sampson said. 

“A rebranding is usually a positive opportunity to say: 'Hey, look at me reposition for the future and get an edge on the competition’.” 

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