Refresh or rebrand?
When it comes to adapting and changing your brand, there are two options. One is to refresh your brand and the other is a dramatic rebrand which includes a logo redesign. This is a sliding scale but if you are doing the full rebrand, do it properly. That means getting rid of everything with the old brand. Starting new. An example of this would be Telecom rebranding to Telstra. They changed their name and everything, not just a basic logo redesign. If you are rebranding, commit to it. And yes, this will be an expensive and time-consuming process.
By only doing a little facelift though, you can continue to use existing items. If your logo is only slightly different and you already have thousands of something printed, chances are, most people won’t notice. Maybe you can even still use a trade-show booth from last year again. But if you are changing your logo and branding too much, this is not possible.
What about your documents. I am a document designer. I worry about your documents. If you are doing a rebrand, what are you doing about all your documents? This can be your big budget marketing stuff like presentations, billboards, brochures, catalogues. But what about your forms, tender documents, reports, your operating manuals, policies etc. Are you committed to remaking all these things? Or can you keep what you have but build and adapt your refreshed brand so that you can keep using all your documents.
Unless you are Coca-Cola, you will probably, at some stage, update the look of your logo. Every large company in the world has. Particularly older companies who feel the need to update and refresh their look with new modern trends. Giving your brand a refresh doesn’t mean that you have to throw out everything though. So if you stick with the same fonts and colours, you can reuse so many things. Anything you had designed and printed can be reused. If you have a particularly expensive booth design, you don’t want to have to use it only once. So work your changes around being able to reuse this booth. Or keeping certain aspects the same but changing others. Example below is Arnotts biscuits. Their branding has retained the same colours, mascot image and round tins over their 100+ years.
Their logo changed and has been revamped many times. But each time, it is subtle. You can have old items next to new items on the shelf without customers thinking they were two different companies.
There will always be marketing materials in the world that you sent out in the past. By changing your brand too much, your customers might not register that your new materials are from you. If they are subtle changes though, it is likely that they won’t notice. Maybe a complete rebrand is the way to go if you are wanting to change customer perceptions though. An example of this is BP who wanted to be thought of as a more green company and dramatically rebranded everything (almost overnight).
The key takeaway here is about the full cost of doing a refresh or rebrand. It is not just the cost of the logo redesign. It is also the cost of replacing the logo on everything it is seen on. Imagine if you are Coles, to remove the logomark, it has to be removed from all their in-house branded products. This is a big task. This might not even be worth the cost. Is it worth throwing out all your documents and marketing materials for this new logo? Probably not? Is it worth potentially damaging your reputation with your customers? Maybe. But remember, Ikea had to change their logo back costing them twice as much.