When do you know if it’s time to change your logo? Should it be refined or wholly changed? Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

So, how long should a business logo last? There are no hard and fast rules. The time to move premises or upgrade your technology should be self-evident. Improving your logo and branding isn’t.

It’s not unusual for an organisation to rebrand or even rename after a couple of years from starting up. This realisation is often the result of various key situations and circumstances.  These reasons can be put into evident and apparent categories:-

• New Ownership

• Mergers

• Acquisitions

• A change of direction or positioning

• Relaunching

There are also valid reasons that are not so obvious:-

• New premises

• New Website

Like most branding issues, there are no hard and fast rules and the principles are the same for smaller businesses as they are for global brands. The following section will give you an idea about why changes are made and what might be appropriate for your organisation.

Tweaking your logo 

Tweaking a logo is a common practice for large well-known brands. It can be quite subliminal, but it keeps a mark fresh. This tends to happen when a logo is well known (Coca-cola, Boots, Apple, Ford, McDonald’s etc.)  It would be misplaced to change it unless business circumstances dictate radically.

The boots logo has changed little in over 130 years.

However, we are not all multinational global brands, and sometimes you can be very well established within your marketplace. You’ve probably spent a great deal promoting your organisation, and it isn’t particularly necessary to change much at all.

A tweaked logo shouldn’t be confused with an evolved logo. A refined tweak can keep your logo looking fresh without raising any issues about the reason for the change. A soft implementation is much easier than having to re-do and update everything, mainly if you are a larger organisation.

Also, many smaller or new businesses find out, that after a while they no longer need parts of their logo due to changing their offer or they are now more general in their products, or they have become an LLP for instance. This requires a slight re-think layout-wise but needs to be done correctly.

See How should you construct your logo?

Why an evolutionary change?

Evolutionary change tends to happen within heavily concentrated markets. Tech firms, fashion and fast turnaround companies always looking for younger customers. They always need to appear to be fresh or cutting edge without losing the essence of their brand.

Domino’s has kept faith with their domino device and the red.

Sometimes, if it was such a good idea in the first place, why change it? Evolution is similar to tweaking, but it tends to involve keeping key and recognisable elements while also introducing new detail over a while. In Domino’s pizza’s case, the Domino.

Why a revolutionary change?

Revolutionary changes happen for various reasons. As outlined above these can be:-

• New Ownership

• Mergers

• Acquisitions

• A change of direction or positioning

• Relaunching

Quite often it can be as simple as outgrowing your start-up logo. Many well-known organisations started with their logo to find a year or so later it simply was no longer appropriate or good enough. The scribble on the back of that envelope no longer works for an organisation going places.

Apple had its first logo for a year before they revolved it. Since then, it has continuously evolved.

It’s essential to be consistent with your branding, but it’s equally important to get the foundations right in the first place. Whether you tweak, evolve or revolve your branding, it has to be as good as it can be. It is the most valuable business asset you have.

If you have any questions or queries about this article, please get in touch.


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