Orange, Banana, Lemon? Do any of these fruits remind you of computers, music players or tablets? Probably not, but one of the most recognizable brands when it comes to these products is Apple which, after all, is named after a fruit.
The Chevy Nova was the top model in the Chevy II lineup through 1968, even though the name meant "it doesn't go" in Spanish.
Would Apple have been any more successful if they chose a name that more closely resembled computers? Would they have been any less successful if they named the company Orange? Would GM have sold any more cars if they called one Chevy Va Rápido (going fast in Spanish).
Entrepreneurs fret many hours over the choice of logo or that perfect name for their new venture. However, by looking at the two examples above, you'd see that logos, brands and names really don't matter that much. When it comes down to it, logos and names initially only mean something to the people giving them that name, but it's exactly those people that must believe in the name to make it successful. If you don't believe in your image, who will?
The Gap Logo Controversy
The Gap had a big controversy when it tried to change it's logo. People were up in arms over the change. Why? It's because people don't like change. It's as simple as that. You can debate the pros and cons of the new design, but quite frankly, none of that matters. If you compare the two logos, people claimed that the simplicity of the old logo was much better and overall, the design was better. However, if the Gap started off with the new logo when the company was founded, people would be none the wiser that the new design was bad. They would of course, be appalled all over again if they changed that design to the old design.
The Actual Design of Your Logo Makes No Difference
As a company that offers a corporate identity package which includes logo design, you might find the above statement a bit odd. We certainly take pride in delivering graphics that are going to be eye catching and beautiful, but there's another reality when it comes to designing a logo.
You could spit on a sheet of paper, outline the shape it makes, color it in and that could be used as your logo. As long as it's unique enough to be differentiated from other brands, you have what you need. Does this advice sound ludicrous? Of course it does, but it's absolutely the case. What matters most is that you believe in the logo because only you as the purveyor of your brand will do what it takes to get that logo seen by the world. Once the world has been exposed to your logo enough times, they become comfortable with it, recognize it in different colors and shades, trust it and will rely on it as a direct representation of your business.
Once enough effort is spent on branding and a logo becomes widely recognized, no change to that logo, no matter how much better the new design, will be initially accepted. Now, it's not to say that you can't change your logo, just be prepared for the repercussions that come with introducing an unknown brand identity to the world. You will have to build a certain level of trust with your customers which can take a lot of time and money before you'll make par with the old design. And sometimes, a logo change can cause customers to defect to a competing brand that hasn't made such changes.
When to Change Your Logo
There comes a time in a company's history when it may make sense to change the logo. However, there must be very specific reasons for that change. If you were in the business of selling computers and you changed to selling only cameras, but your logo was a computer, it may look rather odd. Choosing a name that is rather meaningless like Apple, gave them the ability to add new products and services without having to change the iconic Apple logo. They simply modernized it by updating the color scheme. Minor changes to logos that are simply evolutions of the brand are perfectly acceptable because those type of changes don't alienate customers and the underlying brand is still widely recognized.
What to Do When Choosing a Company Logo, Name and Brand Image
Pick something that you'll be proud of promoting so certainly spend the extra time and effort to get it right for you. But remember, it won't mean anything to anyone else until you successfully market and execute on your business plan. If you're not happy with what you have now, don't waste anymore time. Get something that will work for you and get out there and start promoting the heck out of it!
On a brand building budget? No worries. Just pick up your copy of The Banner Brand which is packed full of helpful tips and advice for promoting your brand on a budget.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him plussing on Google+, as well as tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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