Some logos are so perfect, they remain unchanged for decades. Coca-Cola, for example, has made only minor tweaks to its logo in 127 years of existence. That may be because the logo is so instantly recognizable that the company doesn’t want to tamper with it.
Changing your logo is not a decision to make lightly, because consumers seem to care a great deal about their favorite brands’ logos. That’s a lesson clothing retailer Gap learned in 2010, when it rolled out a new logo that the public roundly rejected. Gap had changed its store design, product offerings and merchandising in an attempt to boost sales, but a spokesman for Gap said, “ … we recognize that changing the logo in this way was one change too many and executed too fast.” Gap returned to its old logo as a result of the backlash.
So how do you know when to change your logo – or why, and in what way? That answer will vary from business to business. Read on to find out what other companies have done and what you should consider as you revamp your logo.
Changes Spur Redesign
Companies often redesign logos when they’ve undergone a major change. In January 2013, American Airlines revealed its new logo – the first update since 1968 – that coincided with the company emerging from bankruptcy. And New York’s Whitney Museum changed its logo this year, when it moved to a new location in the city.
Tech companies often update their logos to appear current, or when they unveil new products or services. Microsoft, for example, updated its logo in 2012, to coincide with the release of Windows 8. But a good, timeless design – like IBM’s basic logo – will require very little, if any, modification over time.
Rethinking Your Marketing Strategy
If your current logo was designed before Twitter and Facebook existed, it may be time for a redesign. Consumers spend a lot of time on social media these days, accessing business websites and social feeds from their mobile phones, so your logo should make an impact, even when viewed as a thumbnail.
Sports franchises are keenly aware of the power of logos in their overall marketing strategy. If you look at the evolution of the Miami Dolphins logo, you’ll see how it became simpler over time, with less detail. The move was part of an overall effort to increase fan attendance, and it’s easy to see how the new logo would work better on Twitter than the one the Dolphins used in the 1960s.
Your goal in redesigning a logo may be simply to increase awareness of your brand, or to modernize your image. Whatever your goals may be, you’ll be more successful in achieving them when you enlist the help of a logo design professional.
Sometimes, small business owners make the mistake of letting their own preferences guide their logo design, without regard to the right colors, fonts and images to best appeal to their target audience. If you don’t understand or don’t like some aspect of your logo design, you can usually suggest a change – but it’s wise to defer to the expertise of people who make a living designing logos.