Logo redesigns carry a powerful history. Some have paved the way for a large jump in sales and new customer growth. Other efforts have resulted in cratering stock prices and customers incensed about losing a look a feel that has become a part of their comfort and life.
So when you are looking to change a brand logo, consider a number of reasons for either making that shift or holding off. Because at this time, it is very important to keep the emotional connection between your loyal customers and your trusted and valued brand.
So what are some things you need to keep in mind when looking to refresh your brand logo?
Getting with the Times
Start on this route by asking yourself some important questions. For instance, does your logo look outdated? Have your competitors made a similar switch that has yielded positive market results? Has the message of your brand and your branded product(s) changed into something new, which should properly reflect and match customer expectations?
It is also important to remember that what might be relevant today may not be so relevant in four years. So what you are representing in terms of feel, analogy, metaphor, or vision should be able to carry over – unless a more important branding opportunity arrives.
Back in the 1960s, account executive, Frank Thomas, who worked on the name research, is quoted as saying that Mustang rose to the top “because it had the excitement of the wide-open spaces and was American as all hell.”
Before you start with a logo refresh, it would be a great idea to sit together as a team and brainstorm the essence of your logo re-design. Make sure that your current and future target customer base is one that values the messaging of the new design.
Create an Enduring Appeal
We’re here – 2020 and a new decade. While trends and brands are shaping up in new ways, there are many trends that have and will stand the test of time. Let’s take the time-tested black and white logo, for example. Note the crispness and simplicity that we can see from the brands below.
Time also seems to have treated logos with circles, triangles, and other geometric shapes well. They’re minimalistic, powerful, and enduring. For example, note the layers of AT&T, the concentricity of Target, the 3D feeling of Citgo, and the happy energy of Microsoft’s 4 colors.
How can the retro look ever leave us? In fact, more and more companies today are taking a page from design looks from decades ago.
When Tropicana launched their new packaging design (inclusive of their brand spanking new logo) in January 2009, their sales immediately cratered by 20%. By the time the change back was made in late February, they had realized a loss of over $30 million dollars.
The company underestimated how much their customers appreciated the image of an orange to a glass of orange juice. Moreover, they also disliked the new font style as well. It seems that the changes made it harder for dedicated customers to easily find their favorite OJ on the shelf…and they voted with their wallets.
The backlash caused the company to recognize that in its re-design, the company had lost the essence of the brand. It lost the emotional connection and appeal, built up for years between their design, taste, and trust of the customer.
Take a survey of the first logo that your team designs need not be the only option.
Top clothing retailer Lands’ End sent out email surveys about its logo design to customers. Would they purchase items with the new lighthouse logo on them?
Moreover, the company also showed the logos of competitors L.L. Bean, Vineyard Vines, North Face, and many others, asking for a free word ‘association’ attributed to each – as well as how well as brand appeal In this sense, the company brought the analysis of competitor brand, and perception of such, into its design process and result.
In its history, Lands’ End has updated its logo numerous times. Most notably, it has gone to tighter font spacing and a move from serif to extra bold sans serif style.
These types of surveys are incredibly effective and let you tap into the hearts, minds, and perceptions of customers. In addition, they allow you to compare, contrast, and even blend into solution some of the best takeaways from competitor analysis.
By the way, it doesn’t hurt to spend a little, too. Lands’ End included an offer to win $100 gift cards.
Announce a Logo Refresh Contest!
Some of the most refreshing ideas could come externally – that is, from outside your organization. It may not be from customers, but from an army of talented designers from the U.S. and globally. Professionals who have designed hundreds of individual logos over their years of client service.
One of the hottest trends today is to start an online design contest. Perhaps you could even start two – one for employees and the other contributed to by designer experts, whom you pay for a winning design.
This type of contest brings forward good energy, opinions, creativity, and the ability for the company to tweaks direction along the length of and numerous submissions into the contest.
When starting a contest, you may want to consider a trusted platform such as that of the Design Contest. Because even apart from customers and your employees, you always have an option to tap into their designer army of more than 230,000 experts with a full money-back guarantee offered on the satisfaction of results.
A logo refresh is a huge step you take in the journey of your brand evolution. While it’s important that you are in sync with the latest trends, it’s even more critical that the new logo positively impacts your business performance. Involve the larger ecosystem of external designers through contests and surveys. Focus on retaining your brand essence and creating an enduring brand.
This also could be a terrific opportunity to capture the interest and the energy of customers and employees, who want to feel valued, included, and share their creative energies. After all, a brand is far more than just an image – it is a journey of contribution and commitment.