From time to time, brands need to reinvent themselves and freshen up their images. Doing so too often can result in confusion amongst their customers. But doing so at the right time can result in a refreshed image that’s more relatable to brands’ audiences. So, how do you know when it’s time to let go of your logo? Let’s take a look!
Considerations When Thinking About a Logo Redesign
You never want to redesign your logo willy-nilly, but there are times when it makes sense to revisit this aspect of your branding. Here are a few:
Has Your Business (or Your Audience) Expanded or Changed?
If your business has evolved, so, too, should your logo. Different target markets respond differently to marketing tactics. Say that you’ve expanded your business of pet boarding by adding grooming. The change of service offerings means you’re addressing a much broader audience, and a new logo can refresh your brand identity in a way that’s more aligned with your updated offerings.
Has Your Brand’s Mission Changed?
Remember when we mentioned that younger consumers are known to gravitate toward brands that display social awareness? It’s possible that your company didn’t really consider that social justice or environmental impact needed to be at its foundation when it began 50 years ago, but what about now? If your mission and values have evolved over time, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your logo. Do you need to take the opportunity to make sure it better represents those values?
Can You Pull Off a Symbol Only Logo?
Small business owners beware! Unless your company is willing to spend millions of dollars on a logo-only campaign, it’s not a realistic goal to rely on only an icon as your logo. Sure, you know Nike by the Swoosh, and you’re familiar with the Starbucks siren, without any names attached to products from either company, but both organizations spent many years and millions of dollars to ingrain those icons in our minds. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a symbol. Be sure that you keep your name however; don’t replace your name with only an icon.
How to Develop a New Logo
Now that you’ve read through this, you might be inspired to rebrand your existing logo. Before you go rogue in Photoshop, consider these steps to a great new branding effort:
Hire a Professional Design Company
First and foremost, you don’t want your logo to look like it was cobbled together from free-to-source stock images. In order to achieve maximum benefit from your rebranding, you need to spend the time to work with a team of people who know what they’re doing. Remember, your logo can make or break your business because it needs to be engaging, memorable, and on-point with your mission and values. Hire people who do this for a living to ensure you’re making the most of your marketing efforts.
Tip: When hiring a professional to design your logo for you, ask, before signing the contract, who owns the rights to the final product. I would strongly advise you to find a company that turns all rights to your logo over to you upon completion of the project. It is also important to get the logo in all different types of files: AI, EPS, JPG, and PDF, just to name a few. Finally, it’s a great idea to get the brand standards guidelines from the design firm.
Make It Simple
You can say a lot with a little, and that’s what the best logos do. The best logos are those that a seven-year-old can draw. Tapping into the creative brain that can unleash everything you need to say in a few words and a single image isn’t easy, but the opportunities will be well worth the effort.
Test Before You Commit
Like anything else in marketing, testing matters. Logo testing gives you the ability to learn about good logo designs and see what your audience is attracted to. A good logo is a top brand differentiator, so you want to get it right. Compile focus groups or survey your existing customers before you decide on a final product. Make sure your focus groups and surveys are private; don’t test your logo publicly. Don’t make ads with several different logos. Test only after you’ve made one you like and have confidence in.
Consider a Refresh Over a Complete Overhaul
Sometimes, you don’t need to completely redo your logo. Many brands—including huge companies that have been around for generations—can eventually outgrow their logos. If you’re tight on money or not in a space where a brand-new logo is warranted, a refresh might do the trick. Brighten up the colors, add a tagline, and update the font in a way that’s more readable and approachable to today’s audiences. Take Holiday Inn for example; this company’s original font looked outdated. However, because of its industry, it’s important that branding looks fresh and clean (just like we want hotels to be). As a response, the large hotel chain made simple changes with a big impact. It dropped yellow from its color scheme, updated its font, and added a simple “H” icon. We still see the words “Holiday Inn” when we look for that hotel online and on the street.
Updating your logo isn’t something you want to do every day (or even every five years), but when the time is right—and your business has changed in a way that necessitates an upgrade—a new logo can breathe new life into your existing organization. Keep these tips in mind as you initiate your rebranding project!