Things to Remember When Rebranding Your Logo
A logo is central to the visual identity of an organisation. Seemingly minor elements like the colour, font or even a shadow-effect on the logo text can have a big impact on how customers view and engage with your business. According to one study published by the University of Loyola, the colour of a logo alone can drive brand recognition by as much as 80 per cent. Another study published at the University of Michigan stated that brand logos that create a sense of motion can influence engagement and attitude towards a brand. It should not come as a surprise then that businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a simple logo change.
But a decision to rebrand your logo should not be made in isolation. In this article, we will take a look at a few things that a brand marketer must consider before updating the company logo.
Evaluate branding goals
Before you start working on your logo, it is important to understand what your brand stands for, and what you aspire for it to be. For a long time, the Airbnb logo did not mean anything. It was merely a cursive font carrying the name against a blue background. But as the company grew and turned into a multi-billion dollar behemoth, the company also faced a number of criticisms. For example, people of colour accused some hosts of denying accommodation merely on account of their race. Other concerns revolved around the security concerns that Airbnb, as a marketplace, could not address.
The company went on a rebranding exercise as a company, and a new logo, called Bélo, was created to assuage these security and racism complaints. According to co-founder Brian Chesky, Bélo was introduced to create a sense of belonging among Airbnb customers. In effect, the new logo is not just an isolated change, but part of the larger branding efforts of the company.
Understand the evolving ecosystem
A rebranding process is sometimes called for when the ecosystem surrounding your product or business changes. This not only includes the changes from within, but also the changes to your competition and industry. When YouTube first launched more than a decade ago, it quickly became the biggest video streaming service on the internet. But at the time of its creation, playing videos was purely a desktop experience. There is little doubt that a lot has changed since then.
Facebook, a social networking service, has today turned out to become one of the biggest rivals to YouTube. Also, the experience itself has seen a paradigm shift, with a majority of users today accessing videos from mobile platforms with smaller form factors. A logo refresh for YouTube needs to thus hit on two objectives – position the website as the primary video streaming platform and also create a logo that can fit smaller devices like smartphones. The rebranding process brought about a smaller logo that symbolises the ubiquitous play button on internet videos.
Dissociate from past branding
In its early days, Pepsi actually went by the name ‘Pepsi Cola.’ But as ‘Coca Cola’ became a brand, the company tried to actively disengage from the ‘Cola’ in its brand name to simply be called Pepsi. In the 1950s and 60s, Pepsi had a bottle cap in its logo to symbolise the popular cola drink. But since then, the company has undergone much transformation. Pepsi is no longer a one beverage company. Also, the beverages you drink today come in a variety of bottles and packages. As such, it doesn’t make sense to have a bottle cap in the logo anymore. When companies try to disassociate from past branding, they try to remove elements that can potentially cause confusion. In the case of Pepsi, it was the removal of the ‘Cola’ in the brand name and the bottle cap from their logo that differentiated them from their competition.