Redesigning logos the right way

Examples of corporate logos that were redesigned in the last year

These companies take branding extremely seriously.  The understand the importance of perception of their brand and individual product.  It takes a lot of effort to successfully develop a brand and there are many reasons my companies might decide to change their logo.  However, just for something to do is definitely not one of them.

Here are a three reasons to change an established logo.

  • The company’s reputation and image has been damaged.
    The most immediate example that comes to mind is BP after the oil spill, but there are tonnes of examples.
  • The company has moved into a new market space.
    The phone company Nokia has transitioned many times, from paper milling to rubber plantations, the logo has evolved accordingly.
  • It’s hard to reproduce it
    Apples original logo was a rainbow coloured symbol, but the company found it hard to reproduce on various surfaces, so the single colour version was adopted.

Examples of changes this year

Guinness – the nectar of the Gods
You can bet the designers had to reign themselves back on this a few times.  The challenge here might have been creating something new and staying true to the established look. But by moving away from the trend of flat designs they’ve created a contemporary logo that reflects the brand’s history.

Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Guinness

Gumtree – who hasn’t used it once ?
The logo re-brand was part of a website overhaul.   The core principals for the designers to consider were: modern, simple and digital. 
The new logo clearly meets it’s objective of being a clear, simple brand image that cultivates an online community.

Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Gumtree
Blue Lily Studios – Branding logos – Kodak

If ever a company had a need to re-brand themselves it’s Kodak.  On the heels of a previously not too successful attempt at re-branding, we thing this one nails it.
It maintains the red and yellow colour scheme, but adds a new typeface and layout.  The intention is to represent the perforations on the edges of old film stock.  –  Hats off to the designer.


Branding 101

Small Business Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, big or small.  Big companies take this subject seriously for a reason.  IT WORKS.  Branding tells customers what they can expect from your products and services and determines how your customers perceive your company.

Here is a 60 second overview of what you may already know about branding but never said out loud.

  • Before you can define your brand you need to ask people what they think about you, your company and your products.
  • Don’t just ask friends or employees, talk to customers, suppliers, stop a bloke in the street, try online surveys.
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?  If you don’t know these, you must call an emergency meeting at the pub because nothing else will work.
    Make sure your customers agree with you about these features and in particular the benefits.
  • What qualities do you want them have about you and what do you need to get to that point?

The basic elements

  • Write down your brand messaging and make sure everyone knows it, employees, customers, advertisers, your pet poodle.
  • Ensure your staff buy-in and work with the brand in mind.
  • Get a great logo and stick it everywhere and on everything.
  • Develop a memorable, meaningful and concise tagline that reflects the brand.
  • Create a marketing style guide defining how all visual communications are presented.
  • Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials.
  • Be consistent

Do you need help with developing your brand. 
There are hundreds of books for small business owners offering advise on all these aspects.
Chances are you’ve already read many of them.  
However, it’s the implementation of it that separates the successful businesses from the casual business.
We can develop an entire branding strategy for you.  Complete with all the essential elements, documentation and templates.
Call us to fast track the development of your company brand.

We take the time that other designers will not.  It’s not because other designers are too busy or can’t be bothered.  
The truth is most designers don’t understand the importance of building a brand as much as they do about creating a logo.
Remember, a logo with reference to a company brand strategy is just a pretty picture that uses up space on a website banner or business card.

Small business branding or Product branding ?

As a very quick definition, small business branding is process of marketing various products or services under the name of a company.  The objective to create an experience or expectation that the client comes to associate with your business name and products.

On the other hand product branding is the companies marketing strategy for promoting  individual products without the company’s name being immediately associated with the product in it’s advertising campaigns or even on the product labeling.
An example might be an established company own supplier a lower quality product that is suited to a particular market segment and separate to the quality products desired by their high end niche market.

Small Company Branding
We specialise in helping brand campaigns for small businesses.  We talk to the owners, to their customers, their suppliers, we even talk to competitors.  Our goal is to understand the market space.  We want to understand what influences the customers to buy, to share positive stories and to come back and buy again.
We develop an entire network of marketing collateral with a common purpose.  That purpose is to associate our clients products and services with the most memorable positive experience possible.
We guide clients in setting up the a communication style that will carry through on everything that a client touches, such as website, social media platforms, product brochures & packaging, display signage, stationary, social media platforms.  Our objective is to create a consistent positive impression every time a client considers our products.

Product Branding
An example of product branding that will be familiar with is Lexus.  Lexus are the top end vehicles manufactured by Toyota.  The Toyota name is not mentioned in any marketing material for Lexus.  The Lexus range of cars have their own logo, websites, marketing materials and a very different marketing strategy.

However, one interesting aspect of this product branding is that it is common knowledge that people are well aware that the Lexus brand is very much associated with Toyota.  One might speculate that this has encouraged Toyota customers to perceive the higher end Toyota range with the quality and styling of the Lexus range.

There can be more than one way to appreciate any marketing stratgey.

What is the point ?
Why bother with individual product branding, it my small business branding is so strong that the product could leverage off the business name.
One advantage is that having a suite of individual products allows you to test the market without damaging the small business brand.
You can introduce an entire range of products, each with individual branding and let the market inform you which they like and in turn what they are prepared to pay for.
Discovering hidden gems through product marketing allows small businesses to identify the most successful products from the range which they may decide to incorporate under the small business brand in the future.

Can we help
Yes we can.  Rather than rebuilding the wheel for each new product, we can develop product brand templates for your company.
Using a successful circular strategy we can quickly develop libraries of templates that will allow you to successfully take new products to market at a much lower cost than creating new concepts everytime.

Please call us today.