Re-branding has been around since logos were first created, whether they were on a sign outside a pub or on a corporate headquarters. Some companies, such as Yahoo! have a different logo every day for a month or change their logo multiple times a decade. Other big-name brands, such as Coca-Cola, have stuck to the same logo for almost the entirety of their brands life.
First, consider the needs of your company and wants of your consumers. Its up to you and your business to decide whether rebranding your logo is a viable, and profitable option. The entire process will likely take up a lot of your business time, money and resources.
Think: why do you need a new logo?
This is the most important process you should go through. Think about why you want a new logo in the first place. Is this just your personal decision or is there evidence backing the rebranding? For example, is your logo too large to display content on mobile devices, or do consumers struggle to recognise and understand your branding?
One of the most common reasons for rebranding a logo is due to the company changing. Whether thats a change of ownership, product or simply modernising. You need to decide whether your current logo represents your company and its future whilst still thinking about those who interact with your company.
Cardiff City Football Club, also known as the Bluebirds changed their logo twice when Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan took over. He decided to change not only the logo, but the colour, from blue (Bluebirds makes sense, right?) to red
. This was to increase the appeal of the brand to the Asian market, red being a lucky colour and matching the image of a dragon to bring the club closer to potential Asian fans. Tan changed with the market, but ignored the most important people the loyal core of paying customers. Its not surprising to say the change was not well-received and had to be reversed in 2015.
Rebranding should not be a split decision. It should be extremely carefully considered, including thinking about both the positives and negatives. The biggest issue with rebranding a logo is time and therefore cost. Would you have to hire an agency to complete the task or are you capable of doing it in-house? Companies such as Google and Nike designed their new logos with their own branding and marketing team which most other companies dont have access to.
Time is just as important as cost. Case studies have shown that companies spend over a year of planning until they officially introduce their new logo to the public. Do you actually have the time and resources to carry out such a large task?
Identify: what is the process of changing your logo?
If you and your company feel you have truly thought about every aspect and challenge in rebranding, the next step is to identify what needs to be done and how, ideally before putting anything into place. You have to figure out what the main goal of this logo rebrand will be what is the desired outcome? Is your aim to establish more brand awareness? Are you attempting to modernise the company, increase sales or both?
Communication is vital to smooth the process from beginning to end. Identify who you need to communicate with, both internally and externally, for the roll-out of the rebranding. If youre planning on changing the logo in-house, establishing a great communicative relationship with your design and marketing team is essential. As most do, if hiring an agency, you should have as much involvement in the process as you feel is necessary.
Before even thinking about starting the design process, ideally, you will carry out some research. Doing this will also validate whether you need a change in logo or not. Speak to your customers and ask them what they think of the current logo. Could they recall it? Mississauga City in Canada did a large amount of customer research before embarking on a logo rebrand. They found that their previous logo was conservative, industrial and boring
. Comments such as these exemplified their need to change with the times and modernise their logo which was extremely well-received by locals.
Another thing to identify before beginning the design process is how big of a change do you feel necessary. Do you want your current logo to get a makeover or a complete overhaul? Its important to remember that, a lot of the time, simple is better and anything too drastic may confuse and even put off the customer.
Take Starbucks for example, in 2011 they rebranded and simplified their logo
. By removing text and sticking to the iconic green colour, they established themselves as having one of the most successful logo changes of recent years. However, do bear in mind that, although having just an image as a logo creates a sleeker look, Starbucks and other companies who chose the same process only managed to do so due to their established global market.
Before beginning any part of the design or roll-out process, it is essential that you identify a budget. This will vary depending on each company and how much they are willing to spend, but remember its always better to overestimate to reduce any large unaccounted losses.
Plan: set out your logo redesign timeline
Now you would be ready to put an official plan into place. How much involvement do you and your company need to have in the design process if using an agency? You could plan your own creative process in order to identify which agency best fits your brief, budget and time.
Another hugely important part of the rebranding process is planning the roll-out of your new logo. This is another place where cost can be quite large. You need to consider everything that shows your logo advertisements, social media, stationary, signs etc. The easiest and most cost effective way of launching a new logo is to phase out old marketing collateral. This would mean changing essential things such as social, advertising and marketing products. However, stationary used in office with the previous logo could simply be used up and replaced with newly branded items
If this logo rebrand is a big deal for your company, you should think about how to first introduce it to the public. An event is usually the first port-of-call, but once again increases the cost of the process. You also would need to establish how to tell your customers its simple to start with an email to warn them in order to avoid confusion.
Rebranding a logo is clearly a huge and expensive process, no matter what size company you have. It takes a lot of time, cooperation, planning and communication and should be meticulously thought about before officially deciding whether it is necessary. Will your business benefit from a logo rebrand? When it comes to promotional products, do you have the time, money and resources to successfully roll-out the logo onto things such as stationary and trade-show items? If you or others in your company are unable to justify any part of the process, its best to put the rebranding on the back-shelf until the time is right for everyone.
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