Tips for Updating Your Logo and Brand Identity

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | October 2022

A desk with computer program open designing a logo.

Have you considered updating your logo and other branding elements? The way you present your brand to the world has a major impact on how customers and prospects perceive you. If you created your logo years ago, it may no longer reflect your current identity. Let's look at why updating your logo and rebranding can be a good idea.

What is the Purpose of a Logo?

A logo makes it easy for people to recognize your brand. When people think of iconic logos, they often conjure up images of McDonald's, Nike, or Apple. But, organizations of all sizes need to establish their brand identity. A logo is a simple way to sum up everything you stand for. An effective logo should have several qualities.
  • It should be simple and memorable.
  • It should associate with your brand. For example, the McDonald's arch looks like an M. Target's logo is an actual target. 
  • It should be consistent with your brand's style. For example, if your brand has a classical, modern, or casual look, the logo should reflect this.

Why It May Be Time to Update Your Logo and Branding

Logos are not static symbols but can evolve with the times. Many organizations that have a long history have changed their logos at least once. For similar reasons, small and mid-sized nonprofits should consider rebranding. Now we'll look at some reasons and tips for doing this.

Your Organization Has Evolved 

Businesses, nonprofits, associations, and other organizations seldom stay the same over the years. You may have added, changed, or removed certain products or services. For example, the original Starbucks logo had the words "Starbucks Coffee." Their new logo removed the text, reflecting the company's plan to expand beyond coffee.

You Have a Dated Logo and Branding

Apart from your products and services, your website and branding may be outdated. For example, electronics retailer Best Buy has been around since the 1960s. In 2018, they rebranded. The new look is more contemporary. The new branding emphasizes customer service rather than products.
Besides your logo, the website and social media pages may need updated fonts, colors, and style. The same applies to offline promotions such as posters, billboards, or business cards.

Your Logo Was a Budget or DIY Project

Smaller nonprofits don't always put much thought into their logo and branding. You may have created a logo yourself or outsourced it as inexpensive as possible. It's like a DIY or budget website that might not reflect your current needs.  You may haven't given much thought to your branding as you've grown. But, it's crucial to convey the kind of image that will help you grow and attract the audience you're trying to reach.

You are Targeting a New Audience

You may be targeting a different or wider audience today than when you started. Target first had a customer base of working-class and middle-class families seeking bargains. Over the years, the company's image has gotten more hip and youthful.
You may be targeting a wider geographic audience. Examples include opening locations in new states or countries. Or you may be expanding your brick-and-mortar business online. In all these cases, you want to be sure that your branding is appropriate for your entire audience.

Your Brand Message Has Changed

Your old branding may not be sending the message you want to convey today. The oil company BP Amoco, rebranded itself as BP and changed its logo. It wanted to modernize its image and present a more eco-friendly look, reflected in the new logo.

Your Logo and Branding Are Too Complex

The best logos are simple and easy to understand. A complex work of art may be interesting or even beautiful and still make a poor logo. Consider how simple many of the most recognizable logos are, such as the Nike swoosh. Your logo can be more complex than these, but you should keep the idea of simplicity in mind.
The same is true for all your branding. You don't want a website that's cluttered with too many images, ads, and other distractions. If your branding is complex or cluttered, it's a good time for a rebranding.


Tips For Rebranding

The following are some guidelines to keep in mind when updating any aspect of your branding.

Partial or Complete Rebranding?

With a partial rebranding, you'll keep your organization's name and other essential elements. For a complete rebranding, you may change the name and start with a completely new logo. Some of the above examples, such as Starbucks and Best Buy are partial rebranding. But, Facebook is rebranding itself as Meta. Although not everyone has noticed, they've also completely changed their logo. The new logo includes an infinity sign. Many observers believe that the rebranding is a response to negative publicity. Yet, it's also true that the company wants to brand itself as a leader in the emerging metaverse.

Ask For Feedback

It's important to listen to your customers or members. Run polls and ask questions. For example, if you're considering a logo change, you might poll people on sample changes. 

Communicate With Your Audience

Tell everyone what you're doing and why. Don't introduce new branding without any explanation, as this will be confusing. Explain what you're doing and why. Provide information on your website, social media pages, emails, and anywhere else. During Target's rebranding, they explained how and why they were making changes.

Be Consistent

If you decide to update your logo, don't keep using the same outdated style on your website. You want to keep your branding consistent across platforms. Use the same style, fonts, colors, and voice across channels and platforms. Every aspect of your organization should reflect your updated branding.

Updating Your Logo and Branding Can Help Your Organization Grow

The logo you started with may no longer be the best representation of who you are today. As your organization evolves, everything you do should reflect this. If your logo isn't consistent with your brand message, it will be confusing. Take a close look at your logo and marketing channels and decide if it's time for a fresh start. 
If your logo or branding needs a revamp or a complete overhaul, contact us today for help. 

Topics: Design and Technology