2012 could be seen as The Year of Logo Redesign with some of the world’s largest brands taking a fresh approach to their corporate logos. From simplified updates of existing logos to completely new designs, the last few months has seen brand design success and fails from well-known global brands.
The evolution of brand logos is far from a new phenomenon and brands such as Coca Cola can track the transformation of their current logo over nearly 100 years. Latest trends in brand logo strategies however show that logo updates signify far more than an evolution in design-over-time.
4 Reasons Why Your Brand Logo May Need A Redesign or Update?
Logos are the corporate face of the brand. The logo in itself is not the brand but it acts as the visual hook reminding customers about what the company stands for, its brand personality and values. It is the glue that binds all the brand information together. With the brand’s visual corporate identity at stake a logo change is no small matter. But how do you know when a logo redesign is necessary?
1. Change in Company Structure
There are often obvious reasons behind logo redesigns. Mergers, acquisitions or company spin-offs often necessitate a new logo that symbolizes the new company.
2. Audience Misperceptions
Sometimes there may be misperceptions and confusion among key audiences about what the brand represents. Powerful brands are ones that have strong values, with an authentic story, which are clearly understood and lived both internally and externally amongst stakeholders and customers alike. If the brand values and story no longer resonates with the target audience or, customer brand experiences differ from the brand promise, then a logo redesign as part of a complete brand revitalization programme, repositioning and re-launch strategy can help realign the brand with the customer and their brand expectations.
3. Shift in Corporate Strategy
If your company is expanding its offering, such new products, new features etc. then an updated logo can signal the brands evolution and change in the marketplace. Ebay recently launched their refreshed logo to reflect the company’s plans to shift their corporate strategy away from auctions and move towards full-priced merchandise. The new logo keeps the colours of the original logo but changes the letters and streamlines the design to reflect the new direction of the brand.
4. Update of old design
Brands that have been around a long time with a extensive legacy often require a careful evolutionary logo refresh to remain relevant in the market without losing any of the much valued old brand provenance. Johnson & Johnsons’ BAND-AID brand has been in existence since the 1920s and, prior to its latest update, the logo had remained the same since the 1980s. Their latest bolder, more distinctive logo was deemed necessary to create something that feels contemporary and modern yet honours the heritage of the brand.
Budweiser has again refreshed its logo. It is hoped the re-evaluation of their brand strategy together with its visual refreshment, which emphasizes the colour red and reflects their ‘continued commitment to quality’, will reverse reduced consumer interest in the brand. Critically the brand’s updated look incorporates the core brand hallmarks that loyal brand followers will recognize.
Earlier this year Twitter launched their revitalised logo. While still a relatively young brand, the company saw a need to simplify and streamline the iconic blue bird. The new logo is created from three overlapping circles, which according to Twitter head of design is “similar to how your networks, interests & ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends”. The new logo reinforces the brand identity with the customer and strengthens the consistency of the brand image online.
In contrast Microsoft launched their new logo design, which is the first time the brand has updated their logo in a quarter of a century. The new design was created to attract and embrace a younger broader demographic to the brand.
While logo updates are often necessary to remain relevant in the market it is critically important not to damage any brand equity developed over previous years. The last thing logo refreshment should do is to alienate or confuse loyal customers.
American retail brand JCPenney has redesigned their logo three times in as many years. The changes were designed to coincide with the brand’s repositioning strategy but have left many customers confused as to what the brand stands for and its identity.
Retail giant Gap suffered one of the biggest logo redesign disasters in decades when they launched a completely new logo last year. The brand made a fatal flaw when they failed to research and explore the influence of the logo on their customer base. The new logo received major criticism from both loyal customers and design critics alike, who slated the company for changing the brand’s iconic blue square.
While the brand’s desire to modernize the logo for the digital world was understandable, they missed an critical opportunity to engage with their customers and the online community in the redesign of the logo.
Brands need to constantly manage their engagement, reputation and image in the market in order to remain relevant with their customers. Sometimes it is small updates to the logo, as was the case with the old Maguire & Paterson Matches brand, dating from 1882, that can breathe new life into a brand and update it for the current market to keep it relevant and take it into the future.
• Is your brand still relevant and resonating effectively with your target audience or in need of revitalization for continued growth?
• Does your current logo meet the needs of both your brand and your target market?
• Have you undertaken recent research to identify your customer’s perceptions of your brand?
If you’d like to find out more about what’s involved in a Brand Revitalisation and Re-launch Programme, and if it’s the right strategy to support your business growth, then feel free to give us a call. We’d love to talk.