How important is your logo to the success of your business? Can you succeed in spite of a bad logo? Yes. Can you fail with a good logo? Yes. So why invest in something seemingly intangible?
The Logo is the Face of Your Brand
In branding exercises, it is helpful to describe your brand as a person walking down the street. What does this person look like? How old? What are they wearing? How do they conduct themselves? What features stand out? This may seem silly, but how you present yourself conveys a deeper understanding of how you think.
You can tell so much about a person from a first impression. The same is true of brands because brands are made up of people. The more you can humanize your brand, the easier it will be for people to connect and become loyal. You should work towards building relationships more than just making sales.
Redesigning your identity may or may not be the right move for growing your business. Here are a few questions you should ask.
One: In What Ways is Your Current Logo Falling Short?
There are many ways in which a logo can fall short but we’ll just look at two. Poor quality and wrong message. If your logo is poor quality, it is going to reflect on every other aspect of your business. Maybe you started on a shoestring budget and now you’re more successful and established. That logo may have gotten you by on the short term, but now it’s time to bring it up to the level of how you want to be perceived. Or maybe it’s just the wrong message. Businesses adapt and evolve over time and often the logo no longer communicates the right message to the right people. It may be time to assess whether communicating your brand is being helped or hurt by your logo.
Two: How Much Should You Retain & How Much Should You Abandon?
Once you’ve decided to embark on the redesign process, you will have to think through how drastic the change should be. Should this be an evolution of the previous mark, or are drastic changes needed? If your motivation is because the old logo communicates the wrong message, you’ll probably need to be more drastic. Maybe leaving one or two elements the same so that customers can make an easy transition. If your motivation is that your old logo is just poor quality. It would require more subtle updates and improvements to raise the quality while also retaining the equity and recognition you’ve worked hard to build.
Three: Have You Defined Your Strategy First?
Jumping straight into design is never a good approach. If you are going to make a meaningful change and see a return on your investment, you need to lay the groundwork. Design without strategy is just decoration. Make sure you have defined your brand values, your target audience, your positioning, your brand promise, and communication strategy. Your logo should be a reflection of the heart of your brand, just as your face reflects how you feel.
Four: How Will Your Current Customers Respond?
The most elusive part of the process is understanding how customers will respond. You need to get a pulse on your current logo and your loyal customers’ feeling toward it. There may be little emotional connection, or this could be a big deal to some people - especially if you’ve been around a long time. As we’ve witnessed with some disastrous corporate rebrands, your customers make up half of the brand equation. Don’t make drastic changes behind closed doors. Gather feedback from a diverse team and include your customers in the process as possible. Explain the reasoning behind the changes and then just listen and be ready to adapt.
Revising your identity design can be a big investment since there are so many elements that will have to be updated. It can reshape how you are perceived and begin attracting people who would have never noticed you before. If you can consider these questions, you’ll have a much better chance of getting it right.