A logo is one of the key aspects of branding for any business. It is often the first thing a consumer relates to when you mention a product or product category. Marketers believe that logos are able to influence consumers at a subconscious level and can make your brand their preferred choice, once you are safely seated in their minds.
However, given today’s fast paced market environment, there are many circumstances which could necessitate a change in your logo design. And if done well, your new logo can help you open up new prospects!
Here are some reasons why you should consider updating or changing your logo design:
1. Being perceived as contemporary
Logos are extremely important brand associations that most consumers look up to. Some iconic brands which have been around since decades, have made changes to their logos as having an evolving logo, gives an impression that the company is aware of the current trends and the needs of the consumers. These logos may not actually be significantly different from the previous logos, but the new logos give the company a polished and contemporary feel. This is crucial, as most consumers want to be associated with brands, that show them as someone who is in sync with the changing times.
The best example of this is Google. If you search online as to how their logo has evolved, you will be surprised, that their logo has not changed drastically over the years, instead they have made some minor changes. One can easily miss the changes in the logos that have been launched by them. What is most noticeable is the sharpness that is added and this gives a polished contemporary feel to their logo.
2. Complex logos
A lot of brand managers of major MNCs have changed the product branding, packaging and logos as the consumers perceive it to be highly confusing and difficult to relate to. Any brand manager’s first Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is how easily a consumer can recollect his/her brand on hearing or seeing a part of the marketing material, or in some cases, simply by thinking about the product category. Having a complex logo that leaves consumers confused actually of no use. The logo needs change as soon as possible as it is not serving the purpose it was created for.
3. Company merger/ acquisition
A lot of times branding experts say that company logos should not be changed even when they are merged or acquired. We would like to disagree here. The reason is that the new merged company may now offer many more products, services or facilities that it did not offer earlier. The new company, therefore, appeals to an entirely new set of consumers and attracts different vendors and investors. With a new focus, a wider target group and a larger product portfolio, it is advisable to have a better logo that truly represents the new market realities of your company. In case you have purchased a new company that is totally different from what your primary business it is best to keep the two as two separate businesses with two different identities. Only if you plan to re-brand the new company should you get a new logo for the new company.
Take the case of Pulse, a news article aggregator that was acquired by LinkedIn in April 2013. Pulse added 90 million readers to LinkedIn’s existing 220 million users. A change of this scale could not be ignored as Pulse was a service that LinkedIn did not provide, but was being added to make it a better social media platform. As a result, LinkedIn made minor changes to its logo after the acquisition. The changes that were made incorporated some aspects of the Pulse logo as well.
4. Visual appeal for the audience that keeps evolving
In the age of instant gratification, the consumers are continuously on the lookout for new products that give them something new to experience. Social media lets them connect and engage with these new products very easily and in many cases these products are home delivered.
As a result, it is very important that we continue to remain in the consumer’s mind as per the branding strategy that has been thought of. If we do not engage with the consumer regularly, other brands may make us seem old and outdated by continuously innovating and being seen as a breath of fresh air.
Even if you make minor changes to your product packaging and logo, consumers perceive you as a new brand. By being seen as someone who is constantly reinventing themselves, you stand out on a cluttered supermarket shelf. Even consumers who have never tried your product earlier can be seduced with a new branding. So, a new or modified logo can be a great way to tap into new opportunities in the market!
5. Change in company focus and values
Many times a company starts out to provide certain services and products to a specific target group in mind. However, as the company progresses, its priorities may change. It may realize that there is a bigger market to target when you offer certain other products and focus on a completely different target group. This could actually result in a complete restructuring of the company or a major rethink about the company’s future plans and strategy. When such big changes are being made, getting re-branded or coming out in a new avatar is what most brand consultants suggest. Having a new or an evolved logo lets you effectively communicate the new ideas and focus of your company.
The best example is the Nokia group. They started out as B2B rubber works company, expanded to having wood pulp mills, hydroelectricity production, electricity distribution, manufactured cables, wires, telephone and telegraph equipment, capacitors, plastics, chemicals, military technology, electrical equipments used in nuclear power plants, mobile phones and telecom infrastructure. For a company that has been active in so many domains for over a century, it has successfully been able to have a good public image due to effective branding for each of its divisions. The first step to all this has been having a good logo.
6. Adapt to modern social media
Many entrepreneurs and start-ups initially focus on their B2B products and services. This is when they believe that branding and logo designing can be done in-house, instead of paying some external agency to do the same. That thinking was fine till the advent of social media and mobile technology. Nowadays, it is important even for B2B companies to have a proper social media profile and image, as a lot of prospective clients will Google your company or try to find out more about you from various social media forums and platforms. It is here where a lot of judgements about your company are made since consumers draw a lot of inferences about your brand based on your online avatar.
It has been said, “The first impression is the last impression”. So remember, the first impression based on your online persona can really make or break a deal. This is what may or may not give you a lead for your business. A good logo will help project you as more professional and experienced, and as someone who is here for the long haul. A good first impression will convince clients to check your social media page and webpage and give you valuable leads.
7. Continuous evolution
In a continuously evolving world, where companies are born and bought every week, logos are being made and replaced every other week. What this would imply is that your logo is aging at a rapid pace. In the age of social media, perceptions of consumers change every few days, and therefore, having a logo that is in sync with the current trends is important.
Nowadays, when building a base of brand loyal consumers is difficult, consumers are willing to try out new products just because they are something new. If your brand is not perceived as one which is in sync with the current trends, a large chunk of your consumers may move away from you, because after all, who wants to be associated with an ‘old worldly’ brand? It is, therefore, advisable to change or update your logo as you evolve.
8. Standing out
The main focus of any company is to maximize revenue and earn profits. The downside to this for many consumer products is that when you are successful, many small companies keep a similar name and logo for their products in order to trick the consumer into buying their products thinking that they are buying your brand. These are spurious brands that can significantly affect your sales. This will happen when you have a very basic or an easy to copy logo. The best solution is to get your logo made by an expert professional and run a low cost marketing campaign – OOH, digital, in-store promotions, etc. to let your consumer understand that you have evolved. Also, when you regularly make minor changes to your logo after a certain set period of time, counterfeit brands eventually fall behind as they find it difficult to keep up with you.
The best example for this is sportswear brand Reebok. They have changed their logos many times in the last decade as a lot of spurious brands have been able to successfully copy their logo and get placed right next to them in a shopping mall. These fake brands have easily cut into a huge chunk of Reebok sales. Reebok now regularly updates its logo to combat this.
Logo redesigning is not an easy decision for any stakeholder as it represents your brand and your company. However, when it ceases to advance your cause in a positive manner, it is best that you have it redesigned from an expert… Then see it unleash its potential and make your fortunes soar!
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