When a Small Business Should Consider a Logo Change

For small businesses, the decision to change a logo should be driven by a desire to more clearly communicate positioning, rather than an artistic exercise triggered by boredom. After all, a logo is part of a system of visual signals that a brand uses to connect with its marketplace.

A logo should not adorn a company’s business cards, website, signage or letterhead just for the sake of tradition, but it should visually communicate a core truth about the brand (thus, support the company’s positioning). So, changes to the logo should be carefully weighed to ensure that they do not negatively impact the business.

For small businesses without much brand equity (due to lack of history or awareness), a logo change could actually help create curiosity, and generate inbound sales leads. For a business with legacy in its community and/or widespread brand awareness, however, a logo change might signal an unwelcome change among its core customers.

Logo DesignThere are four reasons why a small business might consider changing its logo:

  1. Name change: A change in naming might necessitate a change in corporate logo. In this case, the benefits of a logo change include alignment with the new name and eliminating confusion in the market as to positioning.
  2. Controversy: The logo has been confused with another business whose experiencing negative sentiment, or there may be legal action pending against company. In this case, a logo change could create a distinct separation from the brand with negative sentiment, thereby protecting the reputation of the small business.
  3. Relevance: A business may have created a logo that narrowly defines the business as the product/service portfolio has grown. In this case, the benefit of a logo change includes clearly communicating the product/service category that business operates within. This allows customers and buyers to more easily identify whether the business may offer what they want to buy (which results in improved inbound lead generation).
  4. Revitalization: The company wants to signal a new direction or positioning while maintaining its existing name. In this case, a logo change can help to establish a new position in the minds of customers, buyers and suppliers.

Best practices for rolling out a new logo should include:

  • Develop a narrative that explains why the logo change was made so this can be shared with suppliers, employees, customers and media.
  • Integrate the new logo into your brand standards guide. If you don’t have a brand standards guide, create it now.
  • Take an inventory of all of the existing brand touch points that include the company’s logo so the new brand can be consistently deployed across all of them.
  • Communicate the change to employees first, customers/vendors second and media third.
  • Live the brand.

If a business is considering changing its logo just because and doesn’t have a justifiable business reason, maybe it should rethink the investment in time/effort and simply focus on improving its core product or service offering to win more customers.

If you are considering an update to your brand identity, we can help.

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