What pops into your mind when you think of a familiar brand like McDonald’s or Nike? Likely some memory or emotion connected to the familiarity, the colors, and other aspects of the brand.
These days, a brand has numerous methods to market its products and services at its disposal, whether it’s to use influencers , distribute content on social media, employ targeted advertisements, or any number of other powerful tactics.
Nothing, however, speaks to consumers like a good logo. While there’s much more to a brand than just the logo, the logo can create an instant positive or negative impression before a person even has a chance to interact with any more elements of your brand.
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There’s a reason why businesses are willing to spend up to tens of thousands of dollars for a distinctive logo design.
A logo is the most recognizable brand identifier, and it deserves as much thought and planning as any aspect of branding. A well-designed logo sticks well and is representative of the brand itself.
Ideally, it would encapsulate not only what you do, but at the same time, give potential customers an impactful and immediate idea of what your company is about. First impressions last—and the brand logo is the one chance you have to grab attention quickly and get the first impression right.
The logo is likely the first thing people recall about your brand. It ties to your brand identity. A brand isn’t meant to stay static—and logos should reflect that.
Over time, some brands elect to redesign their logos, whether that means making slight tweaks to the existing design or overhauling it completely to reflect the company’s development and improve customer recognition.
There are many reasons brands choose to redesign or refresh their logos. Primarily, brands undergo logo redesigns to convey that they are up-to-date and committed to keeping up with modern times. This is vital especially for older companies, as it shows they welcome changes.
In addition, companies may redesign their logos after they experience significant shifts, such as a merger or acquisition or expanding their line of products.
For example, Domino’s Pizza recently eliminated “Pizza” from their logo to show that their menu goes far beyond just pizza.
And here’s a great example of two brands coming together to update their logos after a merger. As Bryan Cave merged with Berwin Leighton Paisner, you can see that not only the the colors change, but the overall concept changed while incorporating elements of each.
Brands may also want to rethink their logos when they want to expand their reach to other audiences or change their target audience altogether. Some campaigns also involve redesigning a company’s logo to reflect current events. For instance, several brands got creative with the theme of “social distancing” to encourage safety protocols in the pandemic era. This shows that brands can send an important message and promote an important movement creatively through a logo redesign.
For better or worse
Any redesign, especially if it’s a complete overhaul, is a risk for your brand. If your logo is particularly well-known, it may lead some audiences to ask, “Why fix what isn’t broken?” It may make a negative impact on your brand and turn off potential customers or—worse—drive away a loyal fan base. Indeed, it is never an easy decision to redesign your brand logo. So before making the change, make sure you have thoroughly weighed the pros and cons.
- It gives your brand a fresh new look
Whether it means changing your logo completely or refining some of its well-known elements, a logo revamp done right can be a refreshing change to your branding and can give a boost to your image. For consumers, it will make your brand feel current and in the loop with modern trends and styles. This is especially important for household names—brands that consumers can identify via eye-catching prime labels or have memorable ads to their name.
Morton Salt’s redesign retains its well-loved “Morton Salt Girl” and gives it a modern take.
- It displays a sense of improvement
Some brands use a logo redesign as an opportunity to revitalize their image. In some cases, this means seeking favorable public perception after some negative PR. In addition, it can also address criticism of the brand or on the logo itself.
TGI Friday’s updated logo makes it simpler and easier to read.
- It helps customers understand any additions or changes to your existing products or services
A logo is meant to give your customers an idea of the products or services you provide upfront. Many companies change their range of offerings over time. Therefore, an updated logo can give customers a better picture of that transformation journey.
Dunkin’ Donuts rebranded to a more “beverage-led and on-the-go” brand.
Source: Dunkin’ Donuts
- It keeps the brand flexible
Some reasons behind a logo change are more practical. A brand could opt for a more adaptable version to various platforms—which is strikingly important in the age of social media. For instance, Adobe’s new logo aimed to be “as functional as possible at all sizes and across all surfaces.” The company now uses an all-red logo that looks fresh and feels more contemporary.
Adobe’s more functional and contemporary logo.
- It shows that your brand is dynamic
A revamped logo gives the impression that the brand is always willing to evolve as times change. Google does a great job at updating its logo regularly, looking fresh and new each time without making any extensive redesign.
Google regularly updates its logo while paying homage to its past.
- You have to start from scratch
A successful redesign cannot happen overnight. Apart from the costs, a logo redesign is a lengthy process involving many departments and requires careful decision-making. It also takes time to reinforce the image that you’ve already built in the public eye. There’s a risk of upsetting the visual connection audiences already have with your brand with any redesign.
Black and Decker’s new logo omits its iconic “bolt” symbol and instead uses a flatter label.
Source: Company Folders
- You have to make sure your design stands out in an already saturated market
Various factors need to be considered when creating a new logo, so it tends to take time. Along with ensuring your logo stands out from competitors, you must also decide how to work around prevailing trends while making sure your redesign is sustainable. For instance, many brands opt for a minimalist take on their logos. But does that fit your brand? How do you make sure your company stands out in a sea of minimalist branding? While simplifying your brand logo can be executed smartly, there are some instances where such a decision fell flat.
Petco’s redesign has been thought to be lacking in personality.
Source: Creative Bloq
- It could damage your business
Finally, brands must understand that there is such a thing as too much change in logo redesigns. Logos are essentially your brand’s badge of recognition—straying too far away from it could turn away or even lose the trust of your loyal customers. It is risky to rebrand drastically rather than refresh, so it’s important to stick to your roots when possible.
Gap’s revamped logo (left) resulted in public outrage when it was released in 2010, with some loyal customers even boycotting the brand. The brand reverted to its original logo after a week; it goes down as one of the worst rebrands of all time.
Source: CNN Money
Mozilla’s redesign of the Firefox logo faced controversy for removing its iconic “fox.”
Source: Creative Bloq
The dilemma of redesign
Redesigning something as significant as your brand logo is always a gamble. It will be a long and tedious process and could very well end up a disaster. But it could also grow your business in exponential ways. Before making a significant change, it’s a must to know and understand the possible risks. Take some notes from brands that have successfully rebranded in the past. Finally, listen to your audience. Ultimately, your logo is their most immediate connection to your brand, so give careful thought before and during redesigning your logo.
- Pros and Cons of Redesigning your Brand Logo - September 6, 2021