Don’t Mess with the Logo! Unless…

Don't mess with the logo
by Danielle

Sometimes not changing the logo can make you look dated and un-evolved.

Recently, the organizers of the Elkhart Jazz Fest gave TaigMarks the opportunity to create a new look and messaging for its 30-year anniversary event. We researched history and our targeted audience and developed a fresh campaign. It was well received. But one person mentioned the “danger of changing the logo.”

As I work for an agency that helps companies and organizations launch new products or redefine their identities, I am part of the process that develops new logos and taglines and campaigns every day. Now, changing the logo and coming up with new slogans is not going to magically make your businesses successful. Good products, good services and how well you are taking care of your customer’s needs and wants — these are all huge factors in the success equation. Your marketing agenda just needs to be up to the task of effectively communicating such factors in the here and now.

It is also true that companies can get too caught up in “adjusting” their logos and risk undermining the reliable brand experience that long-standing logos convey. “Don’t Mess With the Logo” is a book by Jon Edge and Andy Milligan which discusses the frivolity of spending too much time on non-essential efforts, like continually tweaking your look as you reach out to one audience or another, or piggy-backing on the latest trend.

There’s a lot of merit in that line of thought, but I also believe that just as there is “a season for every purpose,” there are also times when an identity needs to adjust. There are plenty of solid brands where logos and taglines have evolved. It’s not taboo to change the logo.

Look at Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Mazda, NBC, Coca-Cola through the years. Their identities evolved, grew, adapted. They messed with their logos!

Just as you can see the difference in generations through old high school yearbooks, you can tell the era of a brand. Is your company stuck in the ‘50s, the ‘70s, ‘80s? Is it now? Not too many people or brands can afford to look outdated.

You can tell when a business hasn’t updated their website. When people see a logo or brand that looks archaic, the look triggers an automatic thought: “these guys are out-of-touch.” Several international firms suggest that companies at least consider updating their logos once every five years. Especially when a company grows into new market positions or merges with another, then it may be time to change.

If you have a great image, don’t change. There are times, however, when it’s OK to “mess with the logo.”

Shane Frost

TaigMarks account executive

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