Further signs your brand isn’t keeping up

By Stuart Hartley – @anglestuart

Back in June this year Entrepreneur.com published an article on the 5 signs that you need a new logo for your brand.  These 5,

  1. Your logo doesn’t adapt well to modern media
  2. Your logo doesn’t represent your current business
  3. Your logo was a do it yourself project
  4. Your logo is not as appealing as your competition’s
  5. Your logo is too complex

There are many good examples of how businesses have evolved their logos and brands to keep up with modern media, simplify or even continue to appeal to customers.  Shell, Pepsi Cola and even Starbucks have evolved their logos successfully over time to keep up with modern trends.  Conversely there are a number that have failed to evolve.  Probably the most well know of this is the Consignia failure.

Pepsi Shellstarbucks_logo_cvcHistory2

However whilst I agree with all of the points, specifically the ones associated with your current business and complexity, there are other considerations to also take.

The issue may not be your logo it may go further – it might be the whole brand.  Kodak and Polaroid, for example, had strong logos that adapted well to modern media, were simple, clearly represented their business, certainly was not a do it yourself project and most would argue that there were as, if not more attractive as logos than their subsequent competition.

Kodak polaroid-logo-design

The issue though with Kodak and Polaroid is that success for a brand or logo is a double edged sword.  The more successful a brand becomes, the more well-known it is, the more difficult it is for a brand to adapt to market changes.  Both Kodak and Polaroid became stuck in traditional aspects of their industries and did not keep up with changing times and the onset of digital technology.  Their brands and logos became stigmatised by their inability to keep up with new technology – not a good affiliation for a technology brand.

Similarly Ovaltine have again struggled, not directly through any of the signs listed above simply through a nostalgic unpopular brand association that it was unable to take advantage of.  Whilst some brands, such as Hovis, have been able to use its nostalgia, in recent times, to its strengths Ovaltine struggled to do so, partly because the brand became irrelevant to the present market and partly because it was associated the previous marketed benefits of the brand – its soporific tendencies.

The trick then is not just the 5 points raised in the article it is also:

  • Be elastic and flexible – when companies have one idea per brand the idea is the brand itself and becomes naturally inflexible.
  • Be quick – Scan and respond to future trends
  • Stay relevant – Lucozade is a prime example of a brand, a logo that has stayed relevant.
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