We’ve heard it a thousand times: “We can’t update our logo because we’ve been in business for (name your period of time) and everyone recognizes it already. We might alienate our current clients…”
We always respond with a series of questions to begin the process of determining whether an update of the logo will benefit or do harm to the business and it’s brand.
– Does the logo currently represent the perception of value you are trying to achieve?
– Does it appeal to your current ideal target customer?
– Does the logo instill confidence in your company and it’s product or service?
– Does the logo and tagline clearly represent who you are and what you do, with little or no explanation?
– Can the logo be effectively used in all marketing mediums…tradeshow, website, sponsorship signage, and still be seen clearly?
One very important question to ask when examining whether or not to hang on to an old logo is “Are we sacrificing possible new clients in order to hang on to our current clientele?” If your company has been successful at providing quality service or products, then your current clients will not leave you because you update (or change) your logo. However, new clients may take notice.
A logo update gives a company or organization a great excuse to get in front of new and existing clients and let them know what you are up to. It can show growth and investment in the business, and if it better represents your brand values, it will attract a better client.
The Starbucks Brand
Starbucks has been doing this for years and has been incredibly successful with it. They have grown significantly since their 1971 inception, updating their logo every 5-10 years. The image of the twin-tailed siren has changed over the years to better reflect the companies’ vision and appeal to a changing demographic.
Now that the image is so widely recognized as the Starbucks logo, they have chosen a more clean Nike or Apple version of their logo, dropping the Starbucks Coffee text altogether.
We have been tasked with evaluating well-established logos many times. Some times the logo is so well done to begin with that it has stood the test of time and still aligns with the brand promise. Other times it made sense to make small adjustments, similar to the Starbucks transitions. But other times the logo had become so outdated or out of touch with the target market and brand values of the company that it needed to be changed entirely.
The Family Brand
Penco is a nationwide general contractor serving the renovation and catastrophe restoration needs of multifamily community owners and management companies since 1970.
When Penco initially approached Envision to create a print advertisement in 2009 we asked them if their logo represented the brand image they wanted to portray. Though it did not, they were afraid to update the logo because a change “might alienate or confuse our current clients.” We are happy to state 2 years later that no clients were lost due to the change in their logo. Instead, they received a lot of attention from industry leaders and gained traction with prospects that had overlooked them for years.
So…the simplified answer to the question…
…When the logo does not align with your band values or appeal to your ideal target market it’s time to make an adjustment.