Changing Your Logo Can Be Scary Business

Brands seeking to enhance their relevance, or just freshen their identity will sometimes contemplate a logo change.  Changing your logo, or even tweaking it, is not for the faint of heart.  Reactions can be as varied as a rallying point for the organization to a full-on consumer protest.  In John Madea article - 'Hooray for Yahoo',  he points out the challenges of a logo change giving examples of the UC Berkeley and the Gap issues.  Madea also discusses the approach Yahoo took in their recent logo change.

So how does a marketer successfully implement a logo change in a manner that reduces risk?  In addition to creating a brilliant design, here are some suggestions:

  1. Consider key stakeholders.  Marketers need to understand they have several important stakeholder groups, which can include: consumers, direct customers, sales, and the rest of their company.  A misstep with any of these groups can be problematic.
  2. Multi step research.  Typical missteps include doing some quick internal polling only, or maybe some top line research, or going way down a path and hoping the research validates the design at the end of the process.  These approaches might expedite the process, but often lead to a 'do-over'.  In contrast, an insight community allows for many check-ins with consumer/customers, so the marketing team can fine-tune their design, and feel comfortable there won't be any surprise reactions at the end.  A community also offers the opportunity to really understand perceptions on a deeper level - not just the 'whats' but also the 'whys'.  Finally, the information obtained from the community can be very helpful in informing and selling-in concepts to the remainder of the stakeholders.
  3. On-going communication.  The key is to communicate throughout the process.  Get stakeholders to buy into the process upfront, and keep them informed.

Following these steps can help mitigate some of the risk, and actually play a positive role in a successful launch of a new logo.


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