A well-designed logo helps identify the priorities, values and style of a brand. It also attracts the attention of loyal customers. People instantly spot the logos of favorite brands on billboards, television and vending machines. The decision to change a logo should not be taken lightly. However, it does become necessary from time to time.
Reasons to Change Your Logo
While a business shouldn’t change its logo without a compelling reason, there are many instances when a logo update makes sense. Companies adopt new logos as they grow larger or revise their goals. Many small firms start out with plain or poorly designed symbols. They often create more professional logos as they become regional or national companies.
It may also be prudent for a company to update its logo when it seeks to target a different group of customers. For example, a more dignified emblem might appeal to business clients, and bright colors may grab the attention of children.
Some companies change their symbols when they begin to use new technology. A software company might remove the floppy disk from its logo, for example. Nonetheless, this is only appropriate if the public feels good about the change. A farm that becomes more like a factory will not benefit from removing quaint farming imagery from its logo.
Business acquisitions provide a good opportunity to update a logo. The new symbol should try to make employees and customers of the acquired company feel welcome. For instance, when Duke Energy acquired Progress Energy in 2012, the Progress logo was abandoned, but Duke's new logo took on some of its characteristics.
Another compelling reason to change a logo is bad publicity. When a company is in trouble, the media will use a company’s logo when reporting that news. Protesters, bloggers or cartoonists may modify a symbol in unflattering ways. The public might retain negative feelings about it for many years, so some firms replace their logos after waiting for the bad publicity to end.
Maybe It's Not Time To Refresh Your Logo Yet
Although there are many suitable reasons to revamp a logo, there can also be ample justification to leave it unchanged. Generally, there's no reason to replace a symbol that most clients like and recognize. Some companies have learned this the hard way. The BBC reported that clothing retailer Gap canceled a logo change in 2010 after many customers rejected it.
If the time is right for a new logo, businesses should enlist the help of a company that understands the principles of great logo design. Otherwise, that new logo may not live up to expectations. An effective, timeless logo will make future revisions much less likely.
Businesses shouldn't change their logos until there's a good reason to do so. It is an expensive and sometimes risky decision. As in many situations, the public is more inclined to accept a minor change than something completely new.