The Zoom Factor – Logo, Branding, and its Road to Success

The simple Zoom logo has become the company’s most unique branding feature. While the design has remained the same since its inception, there’s a story behind it.

An easy, dependable cloud-based solution for video and audio conferencing, Zoom has a simple logo with basic design elements. While only a handful of companies previously used a teleconference platform, Zoom quickly overtook the world with its user-friendly technology. Here’s how the company worked on its brand identity and climbed the ladder to success. 

The COVID-19 pandemic was a curse for sure, but it also brought about a whole world of opportunities for the tech industry. Almost overnight, people started attending schools and offices from their home to avoid the risk of contamination and transmission. As virtual communication became the mode of life, online video conferencing platforms, particularly Zoom, became a household name. Whether it’s a board meeting at work, an annual seminar, a farewell meeting, a socially distanced family gossip, or a weekend catch-up with friends, chances are that you’ve used this platform at some time or the other.

What was once a dream and a distant concept, video conferencing has become a regular part of most of our lives. Zoom, much like Skype and Google Workspace, is a video conferencing software used through a mobile app, laptop, or computer desktop to attend online conference meetings, webinars, online interviews, and live chat.

While only a handful of companies personally offered a teleconference medium, Zoom entered the online video conferencing industry and surprised everybody with its user-friendly approach. Of all the features that contributed to the application’s popularity and success, the most notable one is definitely the logo.  Before we move on to know the history of iconic Zoom logo, here’s a quick look at the brand’s story of evolution.

Here’s How Zoom Rose to Success

Zoom is a cloud-based online communication platform for video and audio conferencing, 1-1 live chats, screen-sharing, webinars, and other collaborative activities. It works across a range of devices, including smartphones and laptops, and is perfectly compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. In brief, one of the biggest reasons behind Zoom’s success is its simplicity, compatibility, and user-friendliness. The app is lightweight, easy to operate, and the interface is attuned to popular features like Gallery View, which allows you to see every participant on the call at one go.

Born out of its parent company, Zoom Video Communications, in 2011, Zoom wasn’t actually a functional platform until two years after its launch. Before this, Eric Yuan, Zoom’s originator, was working hard on branding Zoom Cloud Meetings as the world’s number one video and conferencing platform. Eric, unlike most of his competitors, built a high-definition conferencing and video chat platform, perfectly suitable for any business, conference, or higher education institute.

Zoom has two plan options. The first one is a free plan for those who want to reconnect and catch up with their friends, colleagues, acquaintances, family members, or perhaps even a dating partner. The other one is a paid plan, specially customized for businesses because this allows up to 1,000 participants to take part in a conference at any time.

This idea of launching a virtual conference app started in the early 1990s, when Eric was traveling 10 hours by train just to meet his girlfriend who lives far away. He wished there was a better, less time-consuming means to make his long-distance relationship work. It was only after moving to the US and working at WebEx, that he found out there was a quicker and easier way to stay in touch with people we care for (near as well as distant).

Eric went on to become a Vice President of WebEx, but once the company started incurring loss and couldn’t grow further, he started contemplating an alternative. Eric worked hard at his idea of opening his own video conferencing app and finally left WebEx to launch Zoom.

Zoom Logo History and Meaning

In this fast-moving world where many brands keep changing their visual identity, Zoom has retained its initial brand logo design for more than ten years. The designers chose to keep things simple, using a wordmark that depicted the brand name in lowercase minus any fancy elements. The simple yet catchy logo design has also become a key feature of Zoom Video Communications Corporation, the mother company that owns the innovative platform and rights to its brand identity.

The current Zoom logo features a light blue inscription with round corners, representing the company’s basic principles – simplicity, minimalism, and boldness. A special marketing team worked on the design, which decided the overall concept and the logotype. The only official version of the logo is the brand name “zoom” in blue, placed on a white background. Any other version with additional design elements and changing colors are considered illegal – an infringement of the branding rules.

The main Zoom logo features just the wordmark. However, there is an icon that can be used individually. There is also a full version that includes the wordmark as well as the emblem, which looks similar to the icon but has a different shape.

The Emblem

The emblem on the Zoom logo features a camera with two rounded and two sharp edged ends. It is a blue circle featuring the camera, with white and gray rings on its borders. The rings add both depth and character to the emblem.

The two components of the full logo (wordmark and emblem) complement each other perfectly. The fact that they have the same color also plays a big role in this synchronization. The significance of the Zoom emblem is pretty obvious. The camera is a clue to the basic function of the software – connecting people over video and teleconferencing across the world.

Wordmark

The Zoom wordmark uses a font which is an archetype of simplicity and legibility. The well-contemplated shape and proportion of the characters give a striking look to the logo, although they may seem basic at first. Nevertheless, this font is highly unique and legible and works great on all platforms.

The designers also managed to make the ends of the letters “Z” and “m” look a little different. They are neither completely rounded nor sharp, but a combination of both. This gives a fluid, seamless appearance to the logo, which makes the otherwise static design appear dynamic.

Colors

Zoom’s signature branding palette is the unique light blue shade. Although this color is commonly referred to as sky blue, it is identified in the business literature as “Zoom Blue.” Here’s why the company chose this shade.

First of all, most tech giants use a shade of blue for their brand identity, such as Intel, Meta, Dell, IBM, and more. This made blue a rather obvious choice for Zoom. The brand chose a light, eye-catching shade, which gave it a distinctive identity.

The light blue wordmark against a white background depicts simplicity, one of the key principles of the company. The same palette can be noticed on all of the company’s properties and branding materials, including the software, website, and other promotional tools.

How Zoom Gained Popularity

There’s nothing new about video conferencing? For a long time, many businesses have used platforms like GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx to conduct meetings online. The prevalence of both external and built-in cameras on our laptops, desktops and mobile devices has resulted in instant video-chatting through apps like Apple FaceTime (launched in 2010) and Google Hangouts (launched in 2013). However, this wasn’t a regular practice in the educational sector until the pandemic hit in early 2020. Learning mostly took place in an institution, and the need for video-conferencing was very rare.

With sudden lockdown measures taken by the Government to combat COVID-19, students and educators around the world looked for a trustworthy, easy-to-use video-conferencing and screen sharing app to continue with their educational programs. Zoom readily recognized this need and offered their platform to educators for free, covering several features that are otherwise only available with paid, premium memberships.

This created a quick, simple solution for educational systems and a bevy of new users for Zoom. Nearly overnight, every school student and their parents had Zoom installed in their smartphone for school-related communications and activities. Soon, they were also using the software for socializing – Zoom playdates and guardians gathering for some fun time. This graph (Google search volume) shows how Zoom entered the common household and gained sudden popularity.

Wrapping up,

From a functional standpoint, Zoom has almost all the characteristics of a strong brand presence. A great brand identity is more than just a great logo or even name. Having an emotional connection with your audience and providing comfort during times of distress is important. If you stay visible and do good during the challenging times, chances are that your customers will remain loyal to you and bring you more business in the future. Zoom did their job religiously and showed that to become a top-notch brand, you first have to give value to your customers. That’s what holistic branding is all about.

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