The global fashion company, Gap, recently launched a new, more simplified logo that was to be used across their entire brand.
Changing from their traditional ‘blue box logo’ that had been in use for over two decades to simple black text with a small, blue box hovering behind the ‘p’, its aim was to show that the company was keeping up with modern trends and could effectively move with the times and not simply be considered a brand that had its peak before the turn of the last millennium.
Within a matter of days of the logo going public, however, it was pulled and decided that the former logo would continue to be used across the brand.
Although Gap is a multi-million dollar company and a change of logo could have had a detrimental effect on sales, if you’re thinking that your small business wouldn’t suffer at all from a new logo and you’re considering scrapping your previous one in favour of a more up-to-date version, it’s strongly recommended that you first ask yourself the following three questions.
How integral is it to your company?
The very first question you need to ask is how important your logo is to your company, as the answer to this should have a distinct effect on whether or not you continue to consider revamping it.
If you believe that your logo is synonymous with your company and is something that people instantly associate with the organization, you need to think about the repercussions of what will in effect be a complete company rebrand.
If the opposite is true and you don’t think the logo is overly important to your organization, this shouldn’t mean that you go ahead and change the logo, but that you should consult others outside of the business, as your views might be a lot different to others.
It’s also worthwhile keeping in mind how and where your logo is used, especially if you’re a retailer – a lot of consumers purchase products so that they can have a bag to carry them in which has the company’s name and logo emblazoned on the side, with many also purchasing products from other companies for the exact opposite reason. Change your logo and your risk alienating this section of your audience.
Why are you changing the logo?
If you feel like it’s a possibility to change your logo, it’s now important that you ask yourself why you want to change it.
Is it outdated? Does it clash with a rival’s logo? Is it devaluing your company? Does it not provide a true representation of the organization?
Should it be one of the above, you generally have good grounds to want to change. If it’s simply because you don’t like the existing one, however, you really need to stop and thinking about whether or not it’s a worthwhile procedure changing it.
How much is it going to cost you?
When oil giant BP rebranded their company with a change of logo in 2000, it reportedly cost $7 million just for the research and logo development – there was then tens of millions of dollars spent on the costs of changing every single company item that featured the old logo.
As a small business, a change of logo generally isn’t going to cost you a substantial amount of money, but it could be a lot more than you first expected.
For instance, aside from having to hire a designer to create various logo drafts before working with them to develop the final one, you have to remember that everything from your letterhead and stationery right through to your branded sales products and retail signs needs to be changed. All in one go, too – no one wants to see a company two years down the line with half of their products using an old logo and half of them using the new one.
Changing your company’s logo could be the best move you ever make for your business and it could help you make that next step up the ladder in your industry. However, it could be a change that has such a detrimental effect on your company that you’re forced to scale down and swallow the financial loss.
As long as you ask yourself the three above questions first, understand the implications and consult all of your customers – Marka Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, stated that the reason for the new logo’s failure was that the company “missed the opportunity to engage with the online community” – you should be able to make the most informed decision possible about whether you should or should not introduce a new company logo.