Fear drives Zomato to design its second logo in three months

Too much, too fast.
Too much, too fast.
Image: Reuters/Marko Djurica
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In a bid to not estrange Urbanspoon users, Zomato—which acquired the Seattle-based company in mid-January for $52 million (Rs330 crore)—has gone all the way to please them.

Essentially, the Indian startup has changed its logo to that of Urbanspoon—or something very, very close. The new design borrowed the spoon from Urbanspoon’s logo and simply plonked it against Zomato’s trademark red background.

Never mind that this is Zomato’s second logo in three months.

Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal explained the move in a blog on Sunday (Feb. 1):

We want to make sure that when we update the Urbanspoon app for millions of users, we don’t give them a new name and a new icon. Doing that could make it look like they installed the Zomato app by mistake, potentially leading to a large number of uninstalls.

A fortnight ago, when Zomato purchased Urbanspoon, the Gurgaon-based restaurant discovery service made one thing very clear: it will not let go off its name, and that it will not maintain the Urbanspoon brand. Goyal had called “it a long-term versus short-term decision,” where “in the longer term, it should all be one brand.”

However, as it turns out, the company is still convinced about its name—but willing to let go off its logo for the fear of losing Urbanspoon’s customers.

It was only in October 2014 that the company redesigned its logo—a red heart pierced with a fork—for the first time after its inception in 2008. Its very first was a “Z”, after the initial of the company.

There is, of course, enough reason for Zomato to want to retain Urbanspoon’s customers, since they’ll be critical to the Indian startup’s plan of making inroads into Australia, the US and Canada.

“By the time we merge the Urbanspoon website and apps into Zomato by March this year, two-thirds of our overall traffic will be coming from just these three countries,” Goyal explained in his blog post. “It’s important to us that we don’t lose a lot of Urbanspoon users by giving them a new name, a new logo, and a new product.”

But in the process, one of India’s most prolific startups could be inching towards a bit of an identity crisis as it looks to serve users across 22 countries.