A logo is like a company’s uniform. It’s how a business presents itself to the outside world. As time goes by, uniforms need to change to meet different needs. The same is true for a logo. Don’t underestimate the power a logo has to sell a product. As your company grows, you may need to redesign your logo — don’t let it gather dust.
Committing to a Logo Change
A logo change is an inevitable part of owning an established, successful business. Even if you understand this, deciding when to take the leap can be tricky.
Customers know your company by its logo, and people sometimes need time to adjust to change. That’s why any logo change is a big commitment. Here are some indicators that it’s time for a logo redesign:
Your logo should grow with your company. As you become more successful, your overall budget will increase. Consider investing some of that extra money into redesigning your logo.
As a new small business, your goal should be to attract customers. But once you have that base, you can shift more of your focus to brand message. Your logo is part of that message. Choose an artist who understands your vision to help you update it. Your company should grow with time, so take a look at your logo every few years and commit to small tweaks as your budget allows.
And when I say “small,” I mean it. I’ll go into this in more detail later, but too many changes in a logo can be detrimental to a brand. I’m not even suggesting a small change every year. Just don’t let your logo accumulate dust over time.
When companies merge (or split apart), logos need to change. Consider taking one or two elements from each individual logo to include in the new one. This makes brand recognition easier for customers after the change.
A rebrand is a change larger than a logo redesign. This could include a shift in a company’s message or a change in the products sold. A logo redesign should always be included in a rebrand. You can’t change what you stand for if your brand identity reminds customers of your “old” company.
The Dos and Don’ts of Redesigning Your Logo
Logo design is a very particular art. Your business needs to be the focus of the design, so very particular rules apply to the process, even when you’re only updating a logo. Here are some tips to guide you:
Do make changes slowly. Customer loyalty should be at the top of your mind. Your logo is the key to brand recognition. Even if you have a dream logo in mind that looks completely different from your current logo, make small changes over time. This will not only ensure that customers recognize your business, but it will also help keep them loyal. Extreme changes can scare people away.
Don’t include too many elements. The focus of your logo should be on your product or service. Keep your logo simple so customers know what you’re offering them. Even an established business shouldn’t crowd a redesigned logo with too many images or other elements.
Do pick a clear font. The writing on your logo should be clear. If customers can’t read it, how will they know you’re selling what they need? There are thousands of fonts to choose from. You should keep the style and personality of your business in the font while maintaining clarity.
Don’t use too many words. Every element of a logo should be simple. Customers should be able to look at it and almost instantly know what you sell. Words can be a part of that, but a logo is definitely not a flyer. If your logo includes words, use as few of them as possible in a logo redesign.
Do know your customers. Knowing your audience’s demographics will help you determine the style of your new logo design. For example, women ages 18-34 years are going to respond to different aesthetics and colors than women ages 35-50 years. As you redesign, consider what customers you’re trying to reach, especially if your target audience has changed.
Don’t be afraid to be different. Your logo should be simple, but it definitely doesn’t have to be boring. Of course, you shouldn’t copy your competitors; standing out and celebrating what makes your company different can be an advantage. Think outside the box.
Do trust your instinct. Instinct is important in every aspect of running a business, even when it comes to designing and redesigning your logo. Whether you feel good or unsure about your logo, trust yourself. In some cases, your sales will tell you especially if something is wrong with the logo. Don’t ignore that either.
Unveiling Your New Logo Design
It’s important to understand that a company rebrand is different from a logo redesign, but a change in logo is inevitable if you plan to rebrand your company. If you’ve made a minuscule change to your logo, there really may be no need to “unveil” it in a big way.
In some cases, you might want to announce small-to-moderate changes in your logo on social media or with signage in-store if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
But if you’re completely rebranding your company, you have to be more careful. The bigger the company, the more serious the stakes. But as I’ve mentioned, no matter the size of your business, your customer base has to know who you are and still trust you.
Logo and packaging come along with this, as Tropicana learned the hard way. They introduced completely new packaging, including a logo redesign and a new promotional campaign at the same time. Their sales dropped 20% in two months after the redesign, and they eventually returned to their old brand logo and messaging. They underestimated not only the role that packaging and logos have in selling a product, but also the close bond their customers felt with the original logo and brand message.
Here are some suggestions on how to prevent anything like Tropicana’s rebranding disaster from happening to you:
If you’re committed to rebranding completely, ask your customers for input via social media or a survey. You don’t have to tell them what this is for right away, but the data will help inform your rebrand or redesign.
Even when you tell customers a rebrand is coming, don’t change everything at once. Tropicana changed about five elements at the same time and expected customers not to blink an eye.
Make sure your company is still recognizable. Part of the reason that people did “blink” at Tropicana’s new logo is that they simply didn’t recognize it. If you need to make big changes at once, do everything you can to make sure customers still know who you are.
Ready to Redesign Your Logo? There’s Help.
No matter what your business is, a logo redesign is not as simple as changing some artwork. Your customers need to be at the forefront of your mind through the redesign process. In addition to following the advice above, consider using a service to achieve the best logo design possible. After all, you’re a busy entrepreneur, probably not an artist. There are many services available to help you create a design that conveys your company message, appeals to your target market, and is aesthetically unique all at once.
Esme Mazzeo is a journalist, essayist, and social media enthusiast from NY. She believes in the power the internet has to connect, inspire, and empower business owners. She also believes chocolate and peanut butter makes any day better.