A lot of companies are doing it. My guess is the ubiquity of the internet has made greater design and marketing literacy in the general population, and companies want to look modern.
Federal Express even shortened their name to get a new logo back in the 90s.
Being ahead of the curve, even their new logo looks old fashioned, compared to the more recent changes.
Burger King, like Taco Bell and Wendy's, got rounder and more dynamic (diagonal lines = action)
UPS also went dynamic and modern, by using color gradient, more curves, and sans serif letters.
The first logo change I remember seeing was AT&T.
But this is not the first round of logo updates. See the original Taco Bell logo I posted above, and compare with
It may seem like time is compressed by social progress. But AT&T alone has been through at least eight logos. Here is a great post showing some more examples of companies that have had three or more. Looking at the years on those, I notice that it's not a new strategy at all, and brands have made such changes regularly for as long as there have been brands. Some of those I have seen before, and some I haven't, but seeing them all collected together from 17 companies drives home the point. That icon you trust has always been malleable.
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