This blog post is dedicated to Peter Leyh who designed the first SAP logo. Peter passed away last Silvester in Germany.

Logos or Emblems are of great importance for any enterprise or organization. They are crucial for communicating with their customers and potential clients. In other words, they are part of a company’s branding strategy. A good logo, if designed effectively, can bring to people’s mind the unique selling proposition of an organization which inevitably promotes the company on a sub-conscious level.

Most companies and organizations change their logos with time to keep pace with their changing business as well as to stay modern and meet the current ‘Zeitgeist’. Evolution is a process of change or development and here is an example of how SAP’s logo changed over more than 4 decades.

SAP_New_LogoSAP, a company started by 5 IBM engineers in 1972, understood the power of a logo. They developed their first logo on the kitchen table in one of the founders’ home in rural Germany. The style of the first logo resembles the one of IBM where stripes seemed to be a must for any computer company such as Apple, Commodore, IBM among many others in those days.

SAP decided to run simpler by mastering complexity so their customers can run at their best.  The new logo which was explored was supposed to represent this transformation in a warm and friendly way.

Shortly after the launch of the new golden logo, SAP decided to make a U-turn.
Based on strong feedback from employees, customers and shareholders SAP is bringing back the iconic blue logo. A move which manifests SAP‘s commitment to listen to its audiences and a proof point that iconic logos of all sorts allow only minimal evolutionary steps.

image004Brands are like banks – each time you touch a brand you either put money into the bank or you take money out. When Brand Equity is built over a long time companies tend to be careful how they nurture and re-engineer their logos. In the case of SAP billions of Brand Equity have been built over the last decade. It’s no surprise that a radical change was aborted quickly. The evolution to run simple continues nevertheless.