If you were to ask any graphic design company, web designer, advertising, marketing or branding agency which of the five senses they targeted most frequently, undoubtedly the answer would be visual. With the exception of radio, the vast majority of advertising media focuses on picture and video. We are, by nature, a visual species. We recognize faces from an early age, rely on sight to make judgement calls and relate much of our own personality to our outward appearances. Therefore, it stands to reason that the visuals related to your organization should be engaging and pleasing to your audience. And we are raising generations of highly visual consumers. “Preschoolers recognize brand names and symbols, and they are increasingly willing and able to make judgments about products and people based on associations with those brands...” The audience for the future is going to be the children of today; a hyper-observant consumer who is skilled in the art of advertising, simply by the nature of our increasingly connected and media savvy world. Therefore, it is of real importance to examine how you are being perceived and judged by the visuals your company is producing and one of the most critical visuals is your company's logo.
Meaningful and Recognizable
“Research estimates that eighty to eighty five percent of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision.” -Thomas Politzer, O.D.
So, how is your business seen by the consumer? A logo seems like such a simple part of a business, but is often the single-most important element of public perception, which can make or break a branding/re-branding campaign. Case in point; when design studios were asked to develop and submit logo designs for the London 2012 Olympics, the results were wide-ranging and the end result garnered more than its fair share of criticism.
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Too confusing, too abstract and not connected to the actual event were some of the more common complaints. Needless to say, the logo was not as well received as planned. In the long run, after explanation and discussion, the logo was seen to have its merits and will become memorable, even if for the wrong reasons. Your logo should not have to be explained or interpreted via online discourse.
Ideally, a logo should represent your business as a leader in it's industry, be easily recognizable and not confused with other designs and should convey a sense of professionalism, no matter the type of organization. “...your logo is the face of your company and it will always be judged by your customers.” Modern consumers are observant and will be more likely to notice changes in design than in previous generations. And they will often create discourse over logo rebranding attempts. As discussed, our ability to identify brands through logos is nurtured from an early age. Therefore, a logo that retains elements of its previously popular design with a sense of forward progression is the ultimate goal. And it cannot be overstated; the retention of existing customers and attraction of new customers is critical to the life of any business.
Embrace Digital Media
Traditionally, a logo re-design would take place during a campaign to introduce a change or shift in business practices, services or products. Even under these conditions, though, logo changes were not always seen as necessary with the underlying sentiment of if it ain't broken, why fix/change it. “Most identities such as Shell and Kellogg's have changed over time but have kept timeless brand elements whilst subtly 'refreshing' or modernizing their typography.”
Modern business practices, however, are exponentially more fluid and fast-paced, designed to keep up with the climate and culture of the consumer. Therefore, many modern logo re-brands revolve around becoming more compatible with digital and social media. Consider if your logo works in color and black & white imaging. Can the logo be resized and retain it's vital elements? Can your logo be adapted to work as an icon or app button? These are the types of questions you and your branding agency or team should be discussing for the modern logo re-brand process. If you aren't sure or the answer is no, maybe its time to consider a rebranding strategy.
Beyond simply being a recognizable sign, “logos are the chief visual component of a company's overall brand identity.” -Jason Gillikin, Demand Media Consistency of design and use across all related platforms ensures that a sense of continuity is being promoted for your organization. What does a confusing logo or conflicting imagery say about your company? Your company letterhead, invoice forms, business cards, apparel and any other form containing the company logo should suggest a thoughtful and organized approach to all aspects of your business. This kind of all-encompassing vision will also prove attractive to potential investors, who are looking for an opportunity which is successful and expanding now; not based solely on future prospects. Investors want to invest in wins. Make sure your logo conveys this message clearly. Remember, your company’s brand is your company’s voice.
Logo rebranding can be a giant step for a sluggish company, a business at the crossroads of success or one looking to expand and capitalize on previous success. The logo or brand speaks volumes to the average consumer and business professional alike. As visual beings, design aesthetics often create emotions at a basic level. Emotions that drive our decisions. This is why branding is, like a science, a studied and highly researched facet of successful business practices. Avoid branding pitfalls by using a re-branding checklist to organize the important points you are looking to change and conduct market research to determine what designs are most favorable. A quality graphic design studio can also be contracted to help, as this is their bread and butter. Make your logo speak to your audience and listen to the conversation created.
Check out the successful results of a rebrand that we did for AIPM, one of our awesome clients! Please click on the box below. Also, feel free to leave your comments!