You’re starting to skip over the intro slide on your presentation deck, all because the logo your friend’s cousin designed for you back when you were a 3-person company is no longer cutting it. You have investors, now, and real customers. Some of them are asking what your “clever” company name means. It seems like it’s time for a rebranding. But where to start?
A logo redesign can help a lot. A quick look at the logo evolution of some of the world’s best-known brands can give you comfort and courage as you step forward to make the change for your company. (See the end of this article for links to logo histories) If you’re changing your company name and logo at the same time, make sure to come up with the name first, as that can sometimes help inform the new design. Take a long view – at least 5 to 10 years into the future, considering if your company may branch out in its product offering.
As we mentioned, changing your brand doesn’t just mean changing your company’s logo. If you’re changing your company name as well, make sure that it helps tell your story. SendGrid’s original name was SMTPAPI – You can see why they changed. Put some time into what you want the name to evoke in your customers, and what you want it to represent. Make sure you test it out with some of your employees as well, and listen to what they have to say. Many people place a lot of identity in where they work – you’re changing their lives as well.
Lastly, make sure you’re not damaging your current brand equity. The brand landscape is littered with stories of companies whose fortunes tanked from a poor rebrand: New Coke. Arby’s. Gap. Royal Mail service in the UK. Tropicana. We could continue, but the point is strong – do not discount your current brand equity. Perhaps you only need to evolve, not completely change. Either way, make sure that you have the resources to explain and showcase the thinking behind the changes, as in this SendGrid blog post.
Rebranding can be stressful and costly, but it can also pay off in the long run, when done thoughtfully, strategically, and with intention. Zenman has led successful rebranding efforts for Plum Voice, Bridgeview IT, Baer Dental, and some of Bonanno Concepts’ restaurants. Take a look at our work and when you’re ready, invite us in to help you evolve your brand.
Here are a couple of articles we found that show the evolution of a few well-known brands and logos: