Logos are the identity of a company. There are several reasons why a company would choose to change its logo but they vary. Depending on their marketing share, they may not want to take the risk of losing loyal customers, etc.
But then there are times when companies likes “AIG” need to change their name because of huge amounts of bad press. Unfortunately creativity escaped for a moment and they changed their name to “AIU”. Eventually they came up with the new name “Chartis Insurance” for the company.
First let’s define what a logo is.
“A logo is a graphical element (ideogram, symbol, emblem, icon, sign) that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo’s design is for immediate recognition. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic or academic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other non-commercial entities.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logo – Wikipedia Excerpt)
A logo can be anything that is immediately recognizable by the targeted audience as being from a particular company.
Major brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Google, Yahoo, Heineken, all have simply font logos with unique color schemes to help immediately identify them from the competition. Believe it or not, simply font typeface logos are more recognize able that crazy designed pictures that are suppose to represent what a companies does. The biggest brands have all very similar things in commons; all their logos are mostly and yet ingeniously simple fonts.
There are unique brands like Apple that can very easily and distinguishable logos without them being centered on a particular typeface.
Research a guy named “Al Ries”; he has a multitude of books on corporate branding, PR, and examples of corporate screw-ups that can be avoided. I have several of his books and have read them extensively in my quest to help my clients become and stay #1 in their respective industries. His books are excellent for anyone interested in reading about corporate identity.
Changing a logo is a big no-no without full consultation and consideration of any potential consequences. Changing a logo immediately destroy any trust, credit, and reputation that it has build. But it does create an environment of new, unsure, and curious element to the company. Lots of questions in the minds of consumers will be asked. Why did they change their logo, was their something wrong with their company that they need a new identity, etc. One phrase that consumers will first utter out of their mouth either “I liked their old logo”, or “I like it”. And that’s where the buzz and word of mouth can spread quickly.
Billion dollar companies have been spent millions of dollars researching on whether or not to change their logo, and 80% of them agree not do, the ones that did, are no longer here. It’s very hard to imagine a successful company that has changed its logo, without changing company names and survived. Try to name one major brand that has changed its logo recently. It’s very difficult to; there is a reason why. Mentally the image you immediately imagine of a company is their logo, and nothing else.
ATT is a company that has a monopoly and did “enhance” their logo, but made sure not to “change” it. If ATT did not have a monopoly they would have never changed their logo, because of the competition and immediate identifying what that company does. But trying to visualize ATT’s old logo is difficult to since a logo is the immediate representative of a company’s identity.
In my line of work of web development, website design, and Internet marketing there comes a time when a website redesign is very necessary, but then next question is a company’s logo. Does it change simply because there is a new website, or stay the same. The clearest answer for me is the logo ALWAYS stays the same. Sometimes a client asks for a new logo, but they get the lecture of brand recognition from me, and I remind them to take into careful consideration of this before doing a logo. If they believe they need a logo redesign, then we get our logo specialists to come on a design a new corporate identity for them.
My conclusion: “New logo = Big No No, with out careful consideration”
I want to know your opinions on this subject. Do you disagree with me on being very careful when changing a company’s logo? If so, why?