It's time to do it. That logo that seemed so perfect when you started the business just doesn't feel so right anymore. Maybe the look is dated or the typeface is tired or it just doesn't send the appropriate message. So take a deep breath and get ready for some rebranding.
But where to begin?
1. Be certain. Make sure this is the right time for a new logo. Your logo is a part of your company's first impression and shouldn't be changed too often. MyCabbage.com, a small technology venture in Chicago, recently rebranded and launched a new logo.
"Our original name, DealsGoRound, reflected the niche business we started. We helped consumers resell their unused Groupon, LivingSocial and other deals for cash," says Kris Petersen, CEO. "As our business evolved into a digital wallet and we expanded into other verticals, including coupons and gift cards, the original name no longer encompassed our focus."
DealsGoRound didn't disappear entirely.
"The old brand, DealsGoRound, continues to live on in the new website," Petersen says. "It's the name of the section that continues to allow users to re-sell their unused daily deals."
Maine Wood Heat Company, a small family-owned business selling masonry heaters and wood-fired ovens, recently decided the time was right to change the logo.
"We had moved to a new location a year ago and since then business had been booming," said Dana Wentworth, marketing researcher for the company. "We wanted to make something more modern and appealing for our wood-fired oven products."
2. Make plans. Don't be haphazard about the process. Develop a thoughtful strategy for everything from who will do the logo redesign work to which day the employees begin using a new signature in e-mails. At MyCabbage, the planning began five months ahead of the switch. And the Maine Wood Heat Company decided to make a big splash and have the logo rollout coincide with a big business event.
"We got shirts made up and stickers to put on vehicles and our products," Wentworth says.
3. Enlist help. While you may be a hotshot playing Draw Something on your phone, you are not necessarily qualified to design a freehand logo. There are tools online for creating logos using a bank of artwork and fonts. Or you can turn to a graphic designer to create something from scratch.
"We hired an outside marketing agency to help us with everything from the high-level positioning statement through the selection of a tagline and social media strategy," Petersen says.
Petersen adds that it might be worthwhile to get customer feedback during the process.
4. Do it across the board. Once you have committed to a new logo, own it. Make the transition everywhere from the front door to the letterhead to the image on the Twitter feed. For Maine Wood, the invoices and paperwork have the new logo now and a new brochure is in the works as well as a website redesign.
5. Believe in yourself. Don't second-guess the decisions you have made during the logo change. Believe in the new design and move forward making it the new symbol of your company. Your instincts and business savvy have gotten you this far and will carry you and your new logo even further.
Carla Turchetti is a veteran print and broadcast journalist who likes to break a topic down and keep her copy tight. That's why this bio is so brief! Carla blogs via Contently.com.