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Why Do Companies Change Their Logos?

Updated on November 21, 2017
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Passionate abt marketing. Love decrypting the news of brands. In on mode, I develop 360° digital strategies. In off mode I document them ;-)

Pepsi Logo History
Pepsi Logo History | Source

If something works, better not change it, is one of those pearls of wisdom that the companies do not always follow. One of the best ways to see this is by studying the evolution of the popular companies. Although many times their logo is very recognizable and is already settled in the memory of their consumers, companies still go ahead and change it. If you analyze what centennial companies have done, you will find that in many cases there are stories of their evolution. After a few years or a few decades, the brand makes rebranding with its logo.

But why do it? From the outset, the decision could seem not only controversial but also quite risky. If the logo works and if consumers are remembering it well, would not it be better to leave it as it is and not touch it? To do so, there must be a logical and rational explanation.

Apple Logo History
Apple Logo History | Source

Sometimes the changes are more or less minimal and do not change the essence of the logo, so much so that in some cases only those who are really very observant end up realizing what has happened. Google has not exactly changed its logo, but it has modified its essence. In 2015, Google changed the typography of its logo (in 1999 it had made a brutal change to its redesign, but it was not yet the popular company we now know). They did it because the new typography worked better on issues of scalability and therefore better suited to new screens, something that in a world like today is very important.

And that is, in fact, one of the great reasons that lead companies to change their logos. When the context in which the brand moves changes and its logo has to adapt to new uses and new situations, there is no choice but to play with it and adapt to those new features. There is more to think about how social networks have modified the requirements of a good logo. In the 90s, when you designed the corporate image of a company and created your logo, you did not have to think about how they would look on a social network profile. Now it is one of the key issues. When you design a new logo, you quickly think how it will fit into the profile picture of the page on Facebook or the Twitter account.

Other reasons that lead to the change of logo

But, of course, these are not the only reasons that force you to change the logo. Sometimes, they are external elements that force the companies to modify the image. For example, a communication crisis or a crisis in the sector means that you have to change how you present your company in the days to come. Which can be done by changing your logo to shore up those things in which you are still strong and not those that had starred in the crisis.

In addition, the logo is in some way a prisoner of business decisions. Separations and sales of assets may force the company to change its logo so that it does not reflect what it no longer has. The same happens when companies merge or buy from other companies. They have to work on their logos so that they represent what they are now and not what they were before. They always have to incorporate the new elements and the new brand values in their logo.

Failing to manufacture something, eliminating production lines and changing the nature of the brand also requires adjusting the logo. Nokia is one of the recurring examples that are often used to exemplify that point. The company was born as a lumber company but throughout the twentieth century, it became a telecommunications and technology company, which has made them change their logo repeatedly throughout its history.

Refresh the logo, refresh the image

And to all this adds a much more prosaic point. The renewal of the logo is a facelift. It’s like changing the color of the living room walls or the sofa: they will make the room look more modern or even newer. The same happens with the logo. Modifying and renewing it makes the company look more modern, fresher. It is, for them too, a facelift.

For companies, “change” can be a decisive and very important option on certain occasions. It can help to position yourself in a much better way when the overall image of the company starts to look too old-fashioned or when you feel that the company is lagging behind in the changing market. It is true that the logo does not solve the problems and the company has to make a much deeper change to adapt to the new times, but it helps to convey that the work is in progress or perhaps already completed.

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