CMOs, Brand Managers, Designers and other marketers will at some point in their career either go through a rebranding or be fortunate enough to be able to create a completely new brand. This means creating or introducing a new brand logo. Now, how do you introduce a new logo and make sure that people will accept it, adopt it and use it correctly and consistently, so as to get the most value out of the new face of your brand?
Even when a logo has been around for years it can be a challenge to have everybody using it correctly. Which is a shame, because - if and when used correctly and consistently - a logo can add a lot of value to your brand and your organization.
When introducing a new logo, you're sure to run into at least some resistance, if not a lot – depending on how long the company has had the logo and how strongly people involved feel about it.
Roel Stavorinus, whom I worked with for some years and is the number one expert on logo design – at least in The Netherlands – recounts how it was when the Dutch Royal Airlines KLM introduced a new logo. A lot of emotion, due to some people working for a significant chunk of their lives in the company of light cobalt blue.
But then there is always a pushback on a new visual brand identity or a singular logo, sometimes even public, as in the case of the new logo for The Netherlands itself not too long ago.
You'll need to think about when and why to introduce a new logo in the first place. Next to that, it's a matter of thinking about how to go about creating and actually introducing the new logo. Finally, you should think beforehand about maximizing adoption, stimulating consistent and correct usage and thereby getting the most value out of your new logo.
But first, let's make sure we're on the same page – why is a logo so important to begin with?
Your logo is important because the brand is important. Among other things, branding has been proven to add financial value to an organization. Your logo is often the first thing that people see and the first thing people will remember about your organization and your brand – and it will have a strong connection with how your brand makes them feel. It is the prime identifier and the first and most important vessel to carry your brand's core values and message.
Color, font, symmetry; descriptive vs. non-descriptive – all of these factors can contribute to adding business value to your brand with your logo. There is no one right way, but there is one thing all organizations can do to maximize the positive effects of using a great logo. All of the added value that a great logo can bring to your brand lives or dies with consistency.
People need to be reminded of things, and things need to be repeated a lot before they stick in people's minds. Memory, feelings, associations – they are the psychological mechanisms that a brand is built up out of.
If your audience is clear on who you are, knows what to expect, trusts you and like you, that means you’ve “branded” an impression through repetition and consistency — specifically, with your behavior, your words (your tone of voice, personality and your overall message), and your brand visuals — of which your logo is the first and foremost.
If you're working on creating an entirely new brand, the logo will be developed as an integral part of the brand, together with the core messaging, brand name and all other brand assets.
Most of the time however, especially in the context of larger – and thus, existing – corporations, a new logo will be part of a broader re-branding. This can be due to a merger or for instance in case the changing internal or external environment has led to a need for a renewal of the brand identity.
Now, how do you go about creating and introducing your new logo, its variations and brand identity? Here are some tips/best practices:
Introducing your new logo should of course be done together with the introduction of the entire new brand, and be treated as a program more so than a one-off exercise. Be sure to think about adoption, brand guidelines and the governance of them beforehand.
Finally, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool might be of help as it is the perfect solution to sharing your brand assets and the way to use them with anyone in your organization or marketing ecosystem, from one centralized location.
If people understand more about the value a brand adds to the organization, they'll care more about doing their small part in maintaining brand consistency. If they understand why a logo looks the way it does and how consistently using it helps a brand be more powerful, they'll be more likely to keep following your guidelines.
It should be clear who is in charge of your brand and the management of its assets. Often this responsibility falls on the CMO or brand manager of your organization, and their team. It is wise to have processes and guidelines in place for the usage of brand assets. A Brand Book and a Brand Style Guide are two of the more logical documents that can help in that respect.
Your Brand Style Guide is the place to explain more about your logo, its variations and correct usage.
To help more easily manage your brand, we believe it's highly valuable to have one single source of truth as to what your brand's purpose is, and how that purpose connects everything we do and the way we do it. This is what a Brand Book helps you achieve.
This is why, regardless the form you will eventually choose, a cloud-stored digital Brand Book and/or Style Guide that everyone can have centralized access to – preferably in a cloud-based DAM solution - is a good idea.
Especially for marketing teams who are collaborating remotely with each other, their internal and external marketing ecosystem and other internal and external stakeholders, a Digital Asset Management platform like Lytho can add a lot of value. Applied strategically, you will be sure to get the most value out of your brand and the related assets by using a DAM system.
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