We’ve been talking a lot about logo lately, and in everything else a business owner has to consider, re-examining your logo seems like one thing that can get pushed to the backburner. But realistically, it is the image that your customers associate with, and should be representative of your brand experience -- what could be more important than improving customer experience, driving traffic to your business, and ultimately increasing profit?
The best place to start is by examining what works and what doesn’t. Your logo may need a few simple design changes, or could need to be completely redesigned from the ground up. It’s important to be honest with yourself during this process. Remember, your logo is not about what you like or dislike, but rather what appeals to your market.
The good news is this is an excellent opportunity to reevaluate your brand and how your logo fits within the spectrum of your business goals. Does your logo project the essence of your brand? Has your vision and mission changed over the years? Has your market changed? It's difficult to deliver on your brand promise if any of these elements have changed.
The first step is finding out what your current logo has going for it. And who better to ask than your existing customers? Take some time to get feedback from your clientele on what they like about your logo, and what they would change. Is it an image, logotype, colors, or your tagline?
Many logos simply need the application of a reductive approach—removing and simplifying the mark. For example, let’s look at Starbuck’s logo development over the years. As they've grown, their mark has become highly recognizable, allowing them the freedom of removing their name from the logo. I wouldn't recommend this for most small businesses, few have the brand recognition of Starbucks. However, you can see that each time Starbucks refreshed their logo a reductive process was implemented—simplifying the mark to its bare essence and therefore increasing its visual recognition.
One of the most consistent mistakes I see in logo design is font choice. Many logos are designed with trendy fonts that are popular for only a few years. This is one area where I recommend small businesses think like a large corporation, and use a traditional font as the foundation of your logo design. Could you imagine being a large corporation and spending millions of dollars on a new logo only to have to update it a year or two later? It just doesn't happen.
One last important point is to remember—your logo is not a work of art, but a communications tool. If your logo does not communicate what your business provides, either product or service, you are potentially losing business.
If you do decide to make changes to your company's logo you will need to update your entire identity system, meaning any and everything your logo is applied to. Even if you only change the colors of your logo, you may need to adjust the style, look and feel, and coloring of other brand elements such as your photography or graphic elements, to ensure a consistent message about your brand is being sent to potential customers.