A while ago we were contacted by Pharmaceutical Technologies Inc. who was interested in updating their logo. They had experienced a lot of growth since starting the business in 1992. In fact, since the time they started, they developed additional products and services outside of the scope of their original mission. They felt that, because of their growth, their logo and brand identity no longer reflected their position in their industry.
We started off the project as we always do – an initial meeting with the principals of the organization. Following that meeting, we we asked to have access to their people in the field and an overview of their marketing materials to get a sense of whether or not their materials reflected what their people were experiencing. The resulting “Needs Analysis” outlined an identity disconnect – both internally and externally – with an ultimate recommendation for the development of a new logo “family” that would better position them in the industry and bring clarity to their brand.
The roll-out of this new logo family was followed by a complete re-design of all marketing materials to coordinate and support the new branding.
When is it “time” to change a logo? In the case just outlined, they “outgrew” the original – but there really is no official timetable that dictates when – or if – an organization should consider the process. In fact, about the time you (as a company) start to get “tired” of looking at the same logo is typically when the public is just starting to recognize it. “Because we’re tired of it” is not a compelling reason to recommend change. We do, however, recommend modifying or changing a logo for one or more reasons: a drastic shift in the organization’s offerings of products or services, a change in the culture of the organization or its target markets, an upgraded look for the sake of professionalism.
When considering a change, you must also take into account the brand equity to determine what, if any, of the current logo should be maintained. Sometimes a minor upgrade is all that is needed – other times it is best to introduce something entirely new. Many major companies have been through this process.
The final recommendation is to consult with experts outside of your own organization. You may just be too close to the forest to see the trees, and a true professional will give you honest input to help make an informed decision.