September 18, 2014

A Checklist When Changing Your Company’s Logo

changing your logo

You finally approved the new company logo and now you can sit back and get back to running your business. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your work is just beginning.

Your logo may be done, but your brand promotion is just beginning. Since your brand is not what you think or even say about your company, product or service…it’s what your customers and prospects think and say about YOU that matters.

Getting the Most Out of Your New Logo

To get the most out of your new logo you need to carefully consider how the logo is positioned and used in all areas of communication. And the good news is that every opportunity is a billboard for your company’s messaging.

What’s Your Key Messaging?

It’s also a time to work on your messaging. How you deliver information to your clients and prospects says a lot about you.

Are you clear and concise? Do you take time to review, proofread and rewrite your content so it makes sense to your key audience? Can you answer this question, “Why did you introduce a new logo?”

Imagine you are being quoted on CNN about why you updated your company’s logo. Do you want to talk about old logos and new colors and better positioning? No, you want to talk about what your new logo is really about: Listening to the marketplace, changing for the future, a better reflection of your company’s values. That’s what your new logo should really be about.

Your logo should reflect your company’s mission and values, so talk about that when you are asked about your logo. Let the designers talk about color, typeface and corporate identity. You want to talk about substance that resonates with your clients and describes where you want to be as a company.

When Do You Switch Over?

You can change a company logo gradually by phasing in new materials over a period of time. Or you can do it radically: Everything new and in place on the target date. Either way, you’ve got a lengthy list of materials to consider.

Many companies will send out a formal announcement that includes a brief statement of the values and mission of your company. Keep it simple and straight-forward, nothing highfalutin. I recommend that this be done as a mailing along with a press release, an online eBlast and a posting on your home page and in your blog.

What Has to Change?

To get the most out of your new logo and really build a new branding system you should take advantage of every opportunity to consistently and distinctively use your logo. Below is a checklist that can help as you gather samples and pore over business records.

Changing Your Logo: Checklist

Announcement
Eblast
Printed announcement
Trade advertisement

Stationery
Business cards
Envelopes
Fax sheet
Letterhead
Mailing labels
Memo pads
News release form
Postal meter
White papers
Reports

Online/Social
Email Signature
Web masthead
Web favicon (The mini logo in your website URL)
Twitter handle
Facebook page
LinkedIn page

Listings and Certificates
Business directories
Certificates of incorporation
Credit certificates
Directory listings
Licenses
Permits
Stock certificates
Ticker symbols

Business Forms
Corporate checks
Invoices
Payroll checks
Purchase orders
Statements

Employee Communications
Benefits books
ID badges
Medical plans
Pension plans
Recruiting materials
Service awards

Advertising & Promotions
Advertisements
Apparel
Binders
Literature
Novelty items
Packaging
Presentation formats
Yellow Pages

Signage
Buildings
Directional
Doorways
Exhibit booths

Branding Photo via Shutterstock

16 Comments ▼

David Langton


David Langton David Langton is co-author of Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design (Wiley) and co-founder of Langton Cherubino Group, the award winning design communications firm based in Manhattan.

16 Reactions

  1. This is true. Changing a logo is not as easy as changing an image. While it may look like that on the surface, you really have to revamp every place in your company that has the logo. You’re right when you said that the main focus should be the message. After all, logos are mere symbols that only relays the main message of the company.

    • Thanks Aira, A lot of people give the logo TOO much power..it’s just one piece of a a much broader branding campaign.

  2. Looking at such an imposing checklist I feel like most SMBs won’t ever change it.

    • We try to use this as an overall suggestion and to point out that your brand lives in many places. Most of these items really need to be addressed eventually, but you don’t have to do it all at once.

  3. Many brands ignore the issues associated with this. It’s better to think lot of times before finalizing the logo first time. At times, but companies are forced to change the logo. But the best solution is to revamp the logo without changing the basic features to cater the modern trends .

    • Thanks for reading Jakes! Sometimes the changes are beyond our control, but making sure all the touchpoints in a brand are covered is still important.

  4. It is always a risk when you start changing your logo and branding. It needs to be recognisable enough to remind people that it is still your logo, unless you are Coca Cola or Form, and have a marketing budget big enough to reposition and re-establish your brand. For the rest of us. we need to change it so slightly that most people don’t even realise there has been a change.

    Even Google, with all their resources, have changed their logo dramatically over the years but most people haven’t even noticed as it was done through a series of incremental changes. While the multi colours have stayed the same, the font and 3d effects have come and gone over the years.

    For most of us its a matter of trying to get it right the first time and sticking with it.

    Graham Apolony
    Big Note Marketing

  5. Thank you, David, for this thought-provoking article. It is a bit overwhelming to consider how to address so many items, but it is very helpful to have them laid out in summary form.

    Unfortunately, there is a need to add an additional topic to your checklist, one which is too often either overlooked or considered later than it should be: trademarks. This is near and dear to my heart for two reasons: (1) our firm is in the process of changing its logo, right now; and (2) As an intellectual property firm, we advise clients on these issues.

    There is too often a disconnect between the efforts to develop a new logo and the legal team, which should be included early to ensure:

    (a) that the new logo may be used without a likelihood that a third party would raise objections or sue for infringement based on similarity to its own marks;

    (b) that proper markings using the TM, SM or circle R symbols, depending on the circumstances, and attribution of ownership of the logo are placed appropriately on the materials; and

    (c) that the new logo is registered as a trademark where the company is doing business or intending to do business in the not-too-distant future, keeping in mind that the laws and practices differ in different countries, such that it may be wise to proactively register the new logo in a country where the business is not yet active to reduce that the chances that another party will register a similar mark for similar goods/services and possibly block the company from operating there in the future.

    The above information is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Companies should obtain legal counsel for advice about their particular circumstances.

    Regards,

    Matthew Asbell

  6. Unfortunately not too many can nail the logo the first time…and so there may be very legitimate reasons for changing a logo: new business plans and offerings, changes in marketplace or technology…or simply a matter of maturity. As a business grows the logo and brand positioning may need to be updated. I often hear the argument that we need to stick with our bad logo because we have equity in it and our customers know us by our bad logo…You may be wasting a lot of resources trying to counter attack a logo that is not supporting your brand.

  7. David, such a great article. Too often small business fail to understand the power of positioning their business clearly, the need to develop messaging to support the position and then the long term value of an well designed logo (brand identity).

    This is not an easy nor is it usually a quick task. The check list you is a great list. It’s amazing how many spots a logo is used.

    Further, to help the understanding of this process, I thought I’d share this link (http://www.systemid.com/learn/brand-identity-change-successful-small-business-company-logo/) as further insight for small businesses looking at brand or logo change. It outlines why and how we updated our company logo

    Cheers, Grant

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