Your company probably isn't a lot like Google. It's not a verb or world-striding behemoth, after all, and you're probably not tackling mind-bending problems like driverless cars or bringing internet access to remote regions via balloon. So what could the company's recent logo reboot possibly have to teach you?
Plenty, according to an interesting recent article from Knowledge@Wharton. The piece explores the meaning of the new-look logo before delving into what experts from the business school say the change has to teach other companies contemplating a similar move. And while not all the insights are earth-shattering (some logo changes work while others don't? You don't say...) or applicable to smaller businesses, others are well worth keeping in mind no matter the scale of your company.
1. Logo changes should be about more than just logos.
Thinking of changing your logo? If so, your decision probably shouldn't just be about a design whim or changing fashions, according to the Wharton experts. If you're going to go through the hassle of changing something so central to your brand, you'd better have a compelling underlying business reason to do so.
"Google is trying to make itself more responsive to the way the web works today, and highlight its new 'more than just technology and the Internet' parent company, Alphabet. Similarly, Starbucks dropped the company name and the word 'coffee' from its logo in 2011 in part because the company's expansion goals went far beyond $4 lattes," explains the post.
2. Different companies play by different rules.
When it comes to the impact of logo changes, there isn't one rulebook that applies to every business. If your company isn't one customers primarily interact with online, you should probably lower your expectations about the impact of any such move. "It's easier for Google as a web-based company to regularly alter its logo because it's something that consumers encounter every day," marketing professor Jonah Berger notes.
"[The logo] is drawing people to look at it because it is changing. People will wonder what it will be today and what it will be tomorrow. It gets much more attention than it would get otherwise," he is quoted as saying. Businesses whose customers are less likely to interact with its logo online regularly are less likely to get much exposure from a logo change.
3. Don't underrate consistency.
Changing your logo can help you rebrand your business or highlight a new direction or fresh offerings, but at the same time it's important to make sure your core identity remains stable -- and recognizable. In other words, "consistency is still key," according to the article.
"Change can get consumers to sit up and pay attention--but companies won't get much out of consumers who don't also recognize which brand is speaking to them," warns marketing professor David Reibstein. "Nike has used many different colors for its logo, but the iconic 'swoosh' remains the same," he offers as an example.