Time For A Logo Redesign? Tread Lightly...
The decision you make will impact your business FOR YEARS.
Changing an established logo, whether you're Coca-Cola or Karen's Flower Barn down the street, should be approached with a great deal of caution and forethought. Many companies and small businesses make the mistake of assuming that a new logo means a new brand, and have been left confused when they launch their new logo and nothing changes. Here are the major reasons why a logo redesign isn't always the answer to boosting your business and what it requires to be done successfully.
A New Logo Can't Save Your Business
Sometimes a new look seems like the obvious solution to boost business. Maybe there's another business with a similar name as you, so a new name seems like a good idea. Or maybe your logo is outdated or wasn't well thought out to begin with. It's become embarrassing and so you feel that a fresh look could revitalize revenue and infuse new excitement and generate interest in your business. As in many business and life decisions, you have to decide what is the best solution for your particular situation. Do not base your decision on your personal feeling about the design. You should base your decision on people's understanding and recognition of your logo.
Also, a new logo does not mean new brand. A new logo means a new logo. A new brand means a new way of doing business, new products, new services, new processes, new everything. A new logo usually goes along with a rebrand, functioning as a signifier of all that has changed about your business. But if your business has no plans for change, has not evolved beyond its previous identity and is not ready to make the changes necessary to reach new heights, a new logo will not take away the problems your business has been facing. You'll be faced with the same problems, only you'll have a new logo. A new logo in that case is like putting lipstick on a pig. Redesign your logo when there's actually something new for your customers to expect from you. Tricking them into thinking you've changed or improved, only to find that you haven't, will only hurt your business more.
A Logo Redesign Can Be Costly
Right now the cost to implement a new logo for a company like Coca-Cola would be huge. Consistency is key in putting a new logo out into the world, and the cost of updating every truck, machine, cooler, point-of-purchase with said new logo is a significant financial investment. Also digital assets would need to be updated as well, that includes website, social media profiles, etc. While yours might be a small business, the cost won't be at the same level as a Coca-Cola, a new logo is a relatively major change.
You might be thinking "well maybe we can still use some of our old handouts and pens, just so we can get rid of them. No one will notice." WRONG. People do notice. So before you think about a redesign, first determine if your business can afford to retool all the places their logo appears.
A Logo Redesign Requires Time and Training
First take time to figure out how you want your new logo to be communicated. Simply telling your staff to stick your new logo on everything isn't enough. You need to involve your staff, your office, your marketing team, everyone who helps in creating content for your business. Not only will they need to be educated on the new look and what it means, you'll need their help in developing advertising and marketing campaigns specifically designed to inform and educate people about this change. Again, consistency is key, so rolling out this new logo will also require time.
It's a good idea to establish an implementation plan and set up time to train the appropriate staff. If you use an outside agency, make sure to educate them as well and designate one person from your staff to be the point of contact to answer any questions that arise. Establishing a brand guide or manual that shows examples of how to use the logo in different contexts (where to place it, acceptable color variations, etc.) is also a good idea, but again, will require some time from you.
The Big Guys Do It. Why Can’t I?
Major corporations do change their identity once in a while, but with modifications to their logo as opposed to a complete overhaul. Rather than scrapping the look and recognition they have already achieved, when the big guys make a design change to their logo, it always remains in the same design family, retaining the core of the original design DNA.
If you asked 150 people to draw your logo, how many could do it from memory, and how well? Here's what a company called Signs found out: 50 People Draw 10 Logos from Memory.
When the big guys make a change it's to reflect a change in their market focus or improvements in what they make or offer. If done too often and if the change is too different from what people are used to, they run the risk of looking flaky, unfocused, and unsure of their identity. The more complex the logo, the less likely people are to remember it and to be confused by it. Also, doing a complete redesign that is completely different also puts them at risk of losing a lot financially. Sometimes as business owners we want to mess with perfection because we aspire to be better, it's in our DNA. Getting a second or third opinion though is a good idea because sometimes it's better to change other aspects of your business rather than a logo. A logo can only do so much after all.
What Makes a Brand Is More Than A Logo
When Tropicana redesigned its packaging in 2009, sales plummeted by 20% in the first two months! The decision to redesign angered consumers, and Tropicana was surprised. Letters and calls were pouring in expressing displeasure with the new look, and it cost the company millions of dollars in lost sales when consumers couldn't accept the new look. Pretty dramatic, right? Tropicana's competitors were benefitting greatly from the failed packaging redesign as well.
By February 23rd, 2009 Tropicana scraped the new packaging design and went back to its previous packaging design to avoid further losses. What this example illustrates is what can happen if you underestimate the emotional bond your customers could have with your logo, illustrating how important it is to consider your customers over what seems like the cool current thing to do.
There's this amazing pizza place out in Woodridge, IL that I love, and their logo is very dated. It's a sketch and it's grainy, but it doesn't stop me from coming back. Imagine if they changed their logo? I might think it's not the same place, or maybe I'd feel like it had become commercialized, and therefore I'd be skeptical about whether the quality had gone down. Sometimes veering too far from who you are isn't a good idea. If what you make or do for people is consistently great, what would a new logo really do for you? If, like this pizza place, you have this amazing reputation, and you keep turning out new and amazing pizzas, that will do more for you than a new logo. Rather than get a new logo, invest in marketing and advertising if you want to reach further than your neighborhood. Tap social media influencers, invest in improving your website. Often it's your marketing and other branding strategies that need a redesign, not your logo.
Obviously there are alot of considerations having to do with a logo redesign.
If you're looking for help with your logo, branding, or simply need to figure out what the best way to boost your visibility, contact us and we'd be happy to help.