If a logo is outdated, it needs refreshment. In this case, changes are simply cosmetic and they if done right they will have a slightly positive effect or none at all. In most cases, the company refreshes the logo just to stay where it already was.
Sometimes logo change may serve as a signal that some serious changes are happening within an organization. The logo is the most visible element of identity, it draws a lot of attention to it, and the new logo may make headlines. That way it can be used to attract the attention of employees and other stakeholders that the organization is changing. Apparently, changes in business and marketing strategy may very well impact the value of a brand as well.
Branding is like farming. You prepare the arable land, fertilize it and only then you sow. The same goes for branding – if you want to attract clients you have to prepare their minds (like the arable land) before they can engage in business with you. You make yourself known, make your offer visible, introduce yourself. The logo is a very significant tool for visibility – since it is psychologically perceived as a visual identity. And a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Next aspect is that a logo is always dependent on strategy. And the corresponding problem is that logo is not designed by strategists but by artists. And artists by definition do not think strategically. But for a logo to be effective, you need it to communicate a certain amount of strategy. It is precisely required bridging the gap between logical, consequential approach and creative, intuitive, emotional art. It means connecting the right hemisphere with the left hemisphere and connecting the dots to define your brand.
If the strategy is viable and competitive and if it is well implemented in your logo design
- brands value is bound to rise just because:
- more people will understand your offer (because logo will actively communicate it)
- they will memorize and remember it better (when people think of you they will visualize your logo in their mind’s)
- they will be able to tell others about you more efficiently because they will have a clear picture of who you are and what your idea is – it is tough to say something you do not understand completely and have to figure out yourself.
A brand can derive its value from a business strategy well translated into a brand strategy and correctly implemented across all touch-points and especially – when communicated via the brand logo.
The task of a brand is to explain to people the benefits, the value, the uniqueness, the difference, the personality, values, and purpose of your business offering and make them believe by communicating emotions. That makes the customers ready to buy and engage in long-term relations with the brand.
As long as the logo is well connected through a strong strategy, it will always create brand value. If the logo is underutilized brand will lose some of its potential value.
In this sense the most typical problems are:
- The logo is not connected to strategy; it does not represent and communicate required messages (so, in fact, it does not contribute to creating an intended brand in the minds of people)
- There is no strategy at all
- The strategy is either weak or wrong
The most significant problems may arise if the previous logo meant something to your customers – they associated it with a specific promise, emotion, experience, legend. And if the new logo loses this vital characteristic and fails to communicate anything unique and valuable – then people will feel sad and alienated which automatically means a decrease in loyalty). Though this wholly depends on where the brand’s strength and value resides. Consequences might be more serious towards perception and communication-based brands (like Pepsi), but brick-and-mortar brands which are based on product experience itself will experience only slight temporary setback as the worst case scenario.