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Here’s How and When to Refresh your Brand Identity

In 2013, Yahoo grabbed headlines by updating their 18 years old logo. Who can forget their ‘30 days of campaign’? After showing 30 potential logos and throwing away countless amount of money in marketing and branding department, they finally unveiled their brand-new identity trademark. And even more recently, Google turned many heads with a new brand Identity following somewhat similar steps. Pondering over the thought for some time, it raises several questions in one’s mind.  Why not launch it at once? Why did they followed such a strategy? Why they choose to waste hundreds of dollars? Well, they didn’t. They made sure that a proper buzz was created before the official launch. Whatever they did, the strategy seems to have found quite a success.

Google Logo History


Now there are several takeaways from example of these industry giants ,with the most important one being,”Why a Simple logo change was so much hyped?

In past few years, Starbucks and Yahoo have made successful changes in their logo whereas branding campaigns of Tropicana and GAP were tanked. When it comes to re-Branding, everything plays a crucial role. From font to background color, all of it matters. Your company’s logo is your message to the world. Therefore, just imagine how big a difference a simple logo change can bring. No doubt sales of Tropicana plummeted. But, what was it that they missed out on? You may think, If such big companies have failed, I can also fail. Well, not necessarily. Let’s just clear the air around how one can update his company’s logo:

brand identity logo

Believe it or not, your logo is the face of your company. It appears on almost everything- from cards to letterheads. Typically, it is the first noticeable thing a customer comes across. Your logo is a graphical visualization of your brand’s ideas. Being an essential aspect of your branding business, it not only helps you stand out from the competitors but also in creating an impression on your target audience.

So now that it is very clear that your logo is the very essence of your brand, let’s move our discussion to whether you should change your logo or not? Is it good for your business? If yes, when is the perfect time to make the right move?

When your target market changes

Changing your logo might be a good option if you are moving beyond your target audience. Starbucks did it and seemed to have found success with it. Recently, starbucks changed their logo to mermaid, deleting the ‘starbuck coffee’ around it. The message was loud and clear that Starbucks is entering into businesses beyond coffee market.

Starbucks logo history

If it doesn’t reflect your brand’s core

Businesses evolve all the time. To stay in the business, you have to pounce upon the opportunities. You have to continuously think and re-think your marketing strategies. In such a case, you may not be the company once you were. With the different aims and strengths, All you have to do is ensure that your logo reflects what your company actually does. It is very important to make sure that your logo is in line with your brand’s core.


If it is not in sync with the latest trends 

It is very important to change your business according to the latest trends. If your logo is too old and makes people think as if they have travelled back in time, then considering a new logo might not be a bad option. You have to check that your logo doesn’t make your company look outdated. Volkswagen has made changes from time to time and has made sure that they stay ahead of their competitors with the help of their strong brand image.

Volkswagen Logo history

If sales are at all-time low

A golden rule to remember,”Consider logo change if your sales are plummeting”. It is quite obvious that you will not want anything to change if things are going your way. You will want your business to keep running with the same flow. But, if leads aren’t generating in numbers as they used to be and revenue is decreasing with each quarter, a logo change might do the trick for you. A logo change may signify the new energy or now working methodology and if everything goes right, it may revamp your long lost business.


There is one thing that you need to keep in your mind. While it very important to keep changing your logo from time to time but you also have to understand that old has its own importance. Nike’s Swoosh, IBM or MTV- all of these logos are a class in themselves. Irrespective of the fact that they haven’t changed much, they continue to be the epitome of their respective industries.

You must be clear by now, if you want to change your company’s logo. If yes, it is time to move on to make sure that this change works. Change is important but may not be beneficial in all cases. So if you are thinking to update your logo, there is only one thing to keep in mind- Keep it Simple.

Steve Jobs once said, ”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and he couldn’t be more right. Pick any example and notice their logos.  It may sound a little childish but it works. Pick anyone- Apple, Nike, AT&T, McDonald’s or KFC. You will notice that almost all of them have found ways to say more with the very little. They are not only simple but also reflect their organization aptly. It is you who has to understand that Less is really more.

Last but not the least, It’s your business and your call. No one knows your company better than you. There is never a perfect time. Just have a hard look at your logo and your gut will guide you to whatever’s the best. Your intuition will let you know if its time for the change or not. Whatever you do, just make sure that your logo gives a strong impression of your company.

In case you are looking for an update or some feedback on your logo, we can help. Having helped hundreds of companies, our experts at 42works can also help you improve your brand image. From logo designing to branding campaigns and everything in between- we specialize in rebooting brands.

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