Don’t change your logo, label or brand unless your business has to change services or products to generate more business.
You can make minor changes to remove www. from a logo, but never shake things up unless you want clients and business in a new area.
When to Change and When Not to Change Your Brand
Change is bad if your business, product or service is thriving. You should know when to change and when NOT to change your brand.
Your existing clients see your brand changed or redesigned and assume there’s a shakeup in the company, a change in ownership. Maybe there’s a difference in the way you will do business or in the quality of your product or service you provide them.
Clients may think you sold the business or that there’s an upheaval in management or that you are struggling to stay afloat. Or all of these.
PS: If you are struggling for business then you SHOULD change your look.
PSS: If you do change your look then you should first create and then concurrently activate a PR and awareness campaign to explain why you look different and what the changes are all about.
Coke vs. New Coke: Awareness and PR Campaigns
Change was bad in 1985 when Coke changed its recipe. Back then, there were fewer beverages as opposed to today when Coke introduces a new flavor with an ad campaign to support it annually.
The lesson learned was that Coke successfully re-introduced Coke Classic in a follow-up public relations campaign. The prior campaign was considered a phony in an attempt to re-affirm the public’s love affair with the beverage.
The small business owner does not have this luxury. Usually, when you see a new label you automatically think they changed your product. Period.
If Starbucks decided to change its green and white logo to red and black clients would assume that the business was sold, changed its products or was new/better/different. And clients don’t like their coffee to change without their knowing why.
But, if your business, product or service SUCKS you have to change and make it better. You have to complete the action because changing labeling or its look or logo isn’t enough. If you need to change everything then, in this case only: change is good and probably necessary.
But never forget to tell them first, THEN change your look.
When You Should NOT Change Your Look
If your business is growing, successful and thriving do not upset clients by switching, changing and altering how you look.
You can instead change the way you do business behind the scenes: with financial or economic adjustments, staff changes, process, infrastructure. These changes can remain unseen. You can improve client care, products and services. Upgrade, overhaul, etc. But when you change the look of your packaging on that product or service it implies that the product or service has changed.
By law you may have to re-label if you’ve changed ingredients OR you can slap a NEW & IMPROVED button or sticker on it to let your clients know that all is good and what they loved is still there…it’s just a little better/bigger/stronger/safer.
From a business perspective you have to keep what works and change what doesn’t.
Changing your logo because you saw something cool or thought that “it’s time for a new look” because YOU think it looks better than what you have…not good.
If your business is THRIVING and you are not STRUGGLING for clients. Change is a horrible idea. Because while you like change, your clients will not and it will upset your revenue and sales.
Recognize When Change is Good and Necessary
There’s a big difference. When you are no longer busy, the phone is NOT ringing off the hook or your product is NOT selling off the shelves or the website. This is when you NEED to change. But change can be hard if you’re stuck in the past and hanging on to what USED to work.
Don’t cross your fingers.
If it’s broke, fix it.
Change Can Be Very Hard
Clients confuse this issue of changing looks. I have told clients their website was dated, the look is tired and appealed to a different target than the one they’re trying to reach.
They usually say that it USED to work. But when I interviewed the client, no new business was coming in, the referrals stopped. New services were being offered. In fact, the primary services offered were not being explained or sold on the website. My suggestion here is to change and it is never personal. If the target, the service or product has changed and the client has not, something has to be done to turn business around.
You have to go where the money is and usually the change is very hard on the business owner. A once thriving business that is struggling or worse yet, is flailing, causes many owners to freeze. To wait and see. It’s better to dig in and get started.
It Doesn’t Matter What YOU Like
YOU are not your target. Ever. Never. Let go of the idea that your favorite color, your cool design, font and logo will change your business luck. It won’t unless your target digs all those things you pull out of your back pocket.
NOTE: If you’re focused solely on a look and a logo, you have wayyyyy bigger business issues than you think. Think BIG Picture.
A logo is only one teeny tiny piece of your marketing pie. You had better have a big picture mentality and let those little things go to the marketing experts who will find out what research says your target likes vs. a personal opinion or a hunch.
3 Reasons Why You Should NOT Change Your Business Look (Brand)
You shouldn’t change your business because:
1. Clients need to be able to recognize you wherever you appear.
2. When clients see a different look, the first thing they think is that the business has reorganized, changed hands, management or otherwise.
3. You haven’t changed anything but you like the idea of a refreshing new look and your business is thriving.
Rebuild and Retain the Equity You Built in Your Brand
When we work with clients who own aging, dated websites, we rarely rebrand the website. In fact, you should NEVER change your website visuals IF your business is thriving.
Change frightens clients and suggests you’re different. If your brand is strong and your online traffic is good, we can rebuild the infrastructure only. We keep your design, colors, logo but may change your menu location and add a responsive website so that it transitions into a strong mobile website version.
Rebuild refers to the application its built in. If you’re still using Flash, you need to dump that old thing and upgrade to a WordPress site. WordPress has updates, upgrades and plug-ins that are methods for having the most up to date hardware/engine. You want a quick-load, content-friendly website rebuilt that retains all the value you’ve built into your website and brand. We rebuild for function and search-engine and user-friendly reasons. We may alter a font if you’re using a non-Google-friendly font, or suggest new social media if you have none. A blog or a column to save the time of newsletters.
Consult with The Marketing Square if your business is struggling. Nine times out of 10, your brand is being sold improperly online AND your website is dated. One out of 10 times the brand, product or service is simply not good. In those cases marketing plans cannot save the brand but we can help save you money by helping to know the difference. If you have a brand that’s not selling, it may also be a decrease or massive change in demand. Or maybe you didn’t do any research on the marketplace before launching a website.
Regardless of your situation, a consultation will help determine what will and what won’t work with your small business. At the end of the day you’re in business to make money. If you’re not doing it we can show you how if your brand and your advertising plan is strong. Sometimes we can turn it around by finding another market to sell to that will embrace your brand, product or service and at the price point that works for you and for your target.