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NortonLifeLock on why it's getting back behind the classic brand name

A laptop displaying a Virus Detected message
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock has announced that it is refreshing the Norton brand name. 

The company, which was originally known as Symantec before donning the NortonLifeLock mantle in 2019, asserts that the rebranding represents the expanded scope of the Norton brand that has grown from an antivirus provider to a comprehensive cybersecurity platform.

In an email interview with TechRadar Pro, Krista Todd, Chief Marketing Officer at NortonLifeLock, sheds more light on the reasoning behind the move, and how the rebranding aligns with the company’s objectives.

What’s the rationale behind another rebranding (moving away from LifeLock, back to Norton)? Is the Norton brand THAT powerful?

NortonLifeLock is our company name and corporate brand which keeps the same visual identity. Norton is one of several brands in the NortonLifeLock portfolio and known as a consumer focused brand. LifeLock is a brand within the NortonLifeLock portfolio and is widely recognised in North America for its focus on mitigating the very real impact of identity theft on consumer’s lives. With our new design, we hope to usher in a new era for Norton, signalling our new brand promise - to be a digital ally to consumers, empowering them to live their best digital lives. 

As a brand with roots that span almost 40 years, Norton has firmly established itself as a trusted name and security partner to consumers around the world. While things may look a little different with this new logo, Norton is remains dedicated to helping consumers with their cyber safety needs, and our new look reinforces our commitment to help empower people enjoy their digital life safely.

Norton’s press release mentions that the rebrand “challenges the cybersecurity industry status quo”. Can you elaborate further?

Today, digital life is just life. For years, cybercrime has depicted online privacy, security and identity theft in darkness, shadows, and a sea of sameness. As a result, online safety has been portrayed as unreachable, confusing and something to fear.

According to our 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, 46% of people in the UK still do not know how to protect themselves from cybercrime. As a result, we feel it’s more important than ever that we shift cyber safety as a subject, from fear of cybercrime to empowering people everywhere to shine a little more each day in their digital lives and make the most of their time spent online. 

At Norton, we want to be a catalyst for changing how the industry speaks about cyber safety – leading from a place of trust and empowerment, instead of fear. We want our new commitment to act as an example to the wider industry on how being a digital ally to consumers can help them live a safer online life.

Do you think that part of the confusion comes from the fact that Norton (and major security providers) try to be everything for everyone? (Cloud Storage, Password Manager, etc).

The Norton brand has grown from a leading antivirus provider to one of the most comprehensive cyber safety platforms in the world. We do know that millions of people have come to trust Norton for their device security, identity protection, online privacy and more. In fact, according to our own brand research conducted just this year, the Norton brand is the number one device security brand and number one cyber safety brand according to consumers.

For us, the hope for this new brand design is that the brighter, more positive tone will encourage and empower consumers to take control of their cyber safety and explore the various services Norton has to offer. 

The rebrand is happening just a couple of weeks before Black Friday, what steps are you taking to mitigate any risks of confusion in the wider marketplace?

The Norton Checkmark logo is very well-known; the brand is recognised across the world and this new step builds on our identity without compromising what is familiar and identifiable to existing Norton consumers.

We believe consumers new to Norton will welcome this visual identity and understand how the brand is helping people to ‘live on the bright side’, as we showcase all the goodness the digital world has to offer when you feel protected and in control of your digital life.

Where does Avira - the German security company acquired in December 2020 - fit in all this?

Norton and Avira brands are two of the brands within the NortonLifeLock portfolio. Avira is established internationally and known for its freemium model, while both brands complement each other due to their shared vision, protecting and empower consumers to live their digital lives safely. 

Do you plan any marketing activities - localized or global - beyond the short-term rebranding exercise to educate the wider market on Norton’s new ambitions?

Beyond the short term, our marketing activities will showcase the new logo and visual identity over the coming months, providing a further opportunity for consumers to view the brand in this new light. Norton will also continue to roll out its refreshed brand across global web experiences, online advertising, and third-party partnerships.

Is SMB still an important segment for you?

That’s right, we do successfully support small business owners in the UK with our Norton Small Business plan. This is because we understand the importance of offering peace of mind to business owners as it means they don’t have to dedicate their valuable time to online security, they can focus instead on their customers and partners.

What are Norton’s plans for 2022 and where do you see the biggest opportunities?

While we cannot comment on specific plans for 2022, you should expect us to continue to build out our cyber safety platform, introduce further innovation and great experiences for our customers. We are committed to helping people everywhere feel protected and empowered to live their digital lives safely.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.