How to Modernize Your Company Logo: A Case Study

Deciding on a new logo for your business can be a daunting experience, especially considering it is oftentimes the most recognizable part of your brand. Maybe you have an idea of what you want to do, maybe you don't, but you do know that the design you came up with when the business first opened its doors has an outdated appearance and is no longer relatable to today's customers. 

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There are five important things to think about when considering how to modernize your company logo:

  1. Do not change for the sake of change. Remember, your logo is the most-easily recognized part of your brand. Randomly or dramatically changing your logo’s look could send the wrong message to your consumer base, especially if your logo is easily identifiable. Customers develop emotional responses to well-known logos, such as pride in a long-standing local business, or relatability with what a company (and therefore their logo) stands for. So, make sure your reason for change is a good one. Here’s a great article from Forbes on how to know it’s time for a logo redesign.
  2. Understand what makes your logo, your logo. Whatever that magical thing is that makes your logo unique, whether it’s a wonky circle or a potato (as you’ll see in our case study below), make sure you conserve that unique element. It’s part of what gives your business personality. No one wants to lose their personality.
  3. Keep any color changes you make within the same color family. Changing your powder blue to a sunset orange or your lime green to a ruby red might feel like a perversion of your logo to those most loyal to your business, even if you don’t change anything else.
  4. Font is a fickle thing. An outdated font is easily recognizable, even by someone who knows nothing about advertising. Pixel fonts were popular in the 80’s, Helvetica in the 90’s, and so on. Unless it ties in directly to your business’ personality or industry, using an old or retro font might give you an outdated look. Updating the font is a quick and easy way to give your logo a facelift.
  5. Consider your audience. Consumer interests change. Geographical demographics change. A great reason to update your logo is to stay relatable and relevant to your consumer base as they grow and change. In today’s world of social media and group-sourcing, you could even consider asking your customer’s opinion before you make any updates, as our client did in the case study below.

From Dud to Spud-tacular

Business owner, Mark, had signed up for a FREE Marketing Consultation with his trusted Banner Marketing Rep, Sarah (you can too – just click here), in order to identify the available audience for his rent to own (RTO) business, H&H Furniture.

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One of the topics discussed during his consultation was the store’s brand image and how it matched up with their current customer base. Their logo – a sheriff potato – had remained unchanged for over 50 years. Computers became household items, the internet facilitated droves of information-sharing, and social media connected us all in ways previously unimaginable. Through it all, the sheriff potato persevered.

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There was one little problem: the sheriff was not a welcoming image for the store’s younger Hispanic customer base.

It’s important for a store’s logo to resonate with their customers but, as we stated before, it’s also important to keep unique elements of a brand. This conundrum meant it was time to call in the experts: the customers themselves.

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Utilizing social media, H&H Furniture reached out directly to their customers for their help to modernize the company logo. Banner Marketing’s talented designers created 4 new potato versions, and together with H&H Furniture, we asked their Facebook audience to vote.

The copy read “H&H Couch Potatoes – We want your Help! After 51 years we want to update our Mr. Spud logo. Please vote your favorite between Number 1-2-3-4 (1 vote only plz). Use this page or message or comment sections. Once we have tailed all the votes we will announce the Winner! Thanks for All of Your Support for over 50 Years! Voting ends July 10.”

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The response was great. They had hundreds of votes over multiple posts, and even posted a video to increase engagement (you can check out their Facebook efforts here). Engaging consumers in the process really helps them feel heard, cared about, and a part of the store’s family. This was no exception. The online audience started having a conversation, and the store listened. The result? A combination of options 2 and 3. Here is the final logo:

How to Announce a Logo Change

Actually modernizing your company logo is not the end of the journey. Next, you need to tell your customer base so they are not confused or surprised by what might feel like a sudden change to them. Here's how to do that:

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  • Tell them of the change before the change. Announcing an upcoming logo change not only preps customers to expect a big reveal, but it also generates excitement. If you’ve involved your customers in the new logo process, like H&H Furniture did, then you have a leg up on this already, and likely already have consumer buy-in on the new look.
  • Announce it on social media. Social media is instant, viral, and honest. If you haven’t involved your customers in the process, announcing the new look on social media will allow you to gauge the reaction and make any necessary tweaks before you make any further investments.
  • Update your store with the new logo. Update everything. The sign outside your door, all of your in-store signage, the logos on your employees’ uniforms, your stationary, your website and social sites… everything. Don’t forget your business cards and marketing materials. In fact, as you walk through your store, it might be beneficial to make a list of everything you see your logo on.
  • Throw a party. Everyone loves having a reason to celebrate, and giving your company a face lift is no exception. Invite employees, their families, and customers to a parking lot bbq. Hold giveaways. Donate to charities. Treat your new logo announcement like a grand opening.
  • Tie the new logo announcement in with a sale. If you included your customers in the process of the logo redesign, honor them with a special promotion. Tie it in with your party. Make them feel rewarded, appreciated, and part of the family.

So what’s next for H&H Furniture? We have now suggested that they follow up the logo selection voting with NAME THE SPUD! That way they can continue to engage their customers, and make them feel included. Gestures like these build great relationships with the consumer, ensuring they stay as loyal to you as ever, even as you change.