Tips for a Successful Logo Redesign

The new logo.

JCPenney has become the latest brand to introduce a freshly redesigned logo, showing off the new look in ads that appeared during the Oscar ceremony.

The retailer is the latest addition to the list of brands that have recently tried to revamp their look with a new logo –  Gap, Comedy Central, Starbucks, etc. Sadly, many of these logos haven’t been well-received by consumers, although, in this case, response seems pretty muted.

Is a good logo redesign the equivalent of a magic unicorn? A fairytale? A fantasy? It doesn’t need to be. We asked experts from across marketing, PR, and design to help out with suggestions for how a successful logo redesign can become a reality. The comments section is open (as is our Twitter handle, @PRNewser), so feel free to keep the suggestions coming.

Mike Scheiner, EVP and creative director of integrated branding and digital in Porter Novelli’s digital communications group. Porter Novelli recently executed a rebranding.

I think we learned from recent high-profile rebranding missteps that it’s critical to clearly establish several factors before engaging in a redesign, including:

  • The business rationale for the rebranding
  • How the redesign will impact the equities that have been established with the brand’s stakeholders
  • Whether the mark requires an update to be made more current, or a complete overhaul (particularly it if is trying to move into a new category)

Ultimately it will come down to the audiences and whether they believe the redesign matches their perception of the brand.  Hopefully, all of the research will have validated the change beforehand, and all stakeholders will not only be aligned but transformed into ambassadors for this change.

Adegbenga B. Agoro, founding partner at Creative Network in Lagos, Nigeria

When implementing a corporate logo re-design, it’s best to engage the people that matter: the people you are in a relationship with, and in the case of any business, that refers to your clients, target audience, and stakeholders. Any company trying to institute a corporate logo re-design should take a survey on their Facebook fanpage. It will go a long way in enlightening the organization about people’s perception about their brand, and perception is key.

John Harne, executive creative director with marketing agency Definition 6

1.      Don’t change a logo and/or brand  if you do not have to
2.      Remember your customers have a relationship with that logo.  It may have a place in their hearts and minds
3.      If you have to make a change, make it relevant and memorable for the 100 years to come
4.      Be yourself and buck the trends
5.      Repeat rule number one

Pat Regan, VP of creative services at Saxum, an Oklahoma-based PR and marketing firm.

The key is listening. What is paramount is what the customer, and prospective customer, thinks of your brand ( if they think anything at all!). Find out through customer listening, similar to a focus group. This must be balanced with listening to your internal audience and evaluating the logo’s brand equity. Is there anything – font, color or image – that is strong and valuable? This serves as the anchor for the designer. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose sight of the shore.

Dan Redding, founder of Magnetic State, a Brooklyn-based design company and brand consultancy.

Redesigning your logo is the job of a professional designer. Hire an experienced designer or firm that understands your business needs and your professional personality. Do not crowdsource unpaid submissions; this technique rarely results in high quality results (see JCPenney’s unnecessary redesign for an example). If you choose a professional who can guide you down the thorny path of logo design and brand equity management, you’ll be in good hands.

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