HOW TO: tell if your business needs a new logo

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Our logo is a crucial part of our branding. It is the visual representation of our brand that is synonymous with what our company is. It is therefore important that our logo is relevant, and continues to be relevant to what our business does, and the story we want to tell. In this article we will post some questions to ask yourself to help you ascertain whether your business needs a new logo. Perhaps it is time for a rebrand?

Is your story changing?

Every business goes through evolution. As we evolve so does the story that we are telling to our customers and prospects. It may be that we started off with a focus on keenly priced products. Then as we became more recognized our message adapted to quality and value. As your story changes it may become time to rebrand and have a new logo to represent the new business.

Is your logo nice in new media?

In 2014 mobile phones and tablets will overtake desktop computers in terms of online traffic. The new mobile environments of smart phones and tablets mean that our logos have different demands upon them. If your logo was not designed with the online environment in mind then it is probably time for a change. You may be able to keep many of the elements of your previous logo and just update.

Does it look professional?

Often when we started a business our logo was DIY. We may have used one of the many logo creators online, or simply knocked something up for ourselves in Photoshop or even Paint. Rather than asking yourself whether your logo looks professional you should ask some people who are impartial. Get a true opinion of your logo and decide whether it is time to do an update. As your business grows it becomes more and more important that your logo is memorable and professional.

Is your logo relevant to your niche?

Whenever someone is looking for a business they will have certain frames of reference. The colors, lines and overall feel of your logo should fit within those frames of reference in order to make sense. Take a look at the other logos in your niche. Is there a pattern to them? Is yours wildly different? Unique and different are good but think about the emotional impact that your logo is having.

Are you not getting the calls?

Consumers have a lot of choice these days. If you are advertising online then consumers will be viewing your company while browsing through lists of companies that could potentially offer them the solutions that they require. If you have done your marketing, believe that you have permeated the consciousness of your target audience, yet are not getting chosen, it could be that your logo is not doing the job. Your logo could be overcomplicated, or could simply not create the emotional connection that it needs to provide.

Are you having an overhaul?

If you are having an overhaul of your business in terms of products, services or company philosophy it could be time for a change of logo. Irrespective of the reason for your changes you will have an excellent opportunity to create a new consumer perception of your brand. As well as redeveloping the logo, you could revisit your social media profiles and voice, your stationery, your website design and so on. This could be particularly relevant if you have become aware of negative associations with your brand, especially if you feel that they will affect your profitability. There are lots of massively successful rebrands that you can learn from.

Are your competitor logos just better?

It could be that your competitor logos are better than yours. They could better tell the story of the competitor companies, better stand out visually, and be more memorable. Again it is a good idea to get 2nd and 3rd opinions from impartial people. Alternatively, you could run a small survey to find out how people perceive the visual appeal of different logos in your sector. If you logo is lagging behind the competition then it is a sure sign that you should be reworking your logo to better depict your corporate story.

Does your logo not print very well?

Many companies have lost the master logo that was, in most cases, made in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Coral Draw. This may mean that even if you get a reliable printing company (say it is impossible to produce good quality print media with the format that you have. It could also be that the logo you have simply doesn’t look good when printed. Perhaps the designer didn’t do a very good job, or designing primarily for online media. Print media is still an important arena for your business. Make sure that your logo prints well. It may be time for a redesign or rework.

header image courtesy of Michael Spitz

Doug is a professional illustrator from Michigan. Doug Draws is a showcase of his talent, work and other design-related shenanigans.