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Q: Company logo changes ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Company logo changes
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: stav-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 31 Mar 2003 04:31 PST
Expires: 30 Apr 2003 05:31 PDT
Question ID: 183599
I am looking for reasonably recent examples of large and preferably
long-established companies changing their corporate logos and the
reasons why they changed their logos. And how did this impact on
customer loyalty? I am not interested in logo changes due to
mergers/acquisitions/etc but rather deliberate modifications for
branding/marketing purposes. What are the risks involved in changing
the logo? Are there any good websites that could provide free
information/advice about changing logos?

Request for Question Clarification by serenata-ga on 31 Mar 2003 14:11 PST
Hello, Stav -

One immediate well known company comes to mind in answer to your
question not only changed their logo, but changed their company name,
a move that many predicted would cause the company's downfall.

Is / Would this be the kind of answer you are seeking?

Yours ever so,

Clarification of Question by stav-ga on 31 Mar 2003 15:31 PST
That example would not work. My research is based on a study of
whether a newspaper should change the style/font of its flag. There
are some examples of this but I wanted to broaden the investigation to
consider other well known brands who have "tampered" with their logos
and what the effect has been. Hope that helps.
Subject: Re: Company logo changes
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 01 Apr 2003 02:41 PST
Hello Stav,

The single best resource I found is the following Word Document. It is
too long to fully quote all relevant parts, so I suggest you read
through it:

Changes in Logo Designs: Chasing the Elusive Butterfly Curve [DOC]
(by Ronald W. Pimentel, PhD, Assistant Professor of Marketing,
University of Central Florida, and Susan E. Heckler, PhD, Visiting
Professor of Marketing, Georgetown University)
"Some logo designs are changed or updated on a regular basis while
others remain unchanged for decades.  If a two-factor model of
exposure effects and the discrepancy hypothesis applied to preference
for changes in logo designs, periodic incremental changes would be
optimal.  A series of empirical studies, however, discovered that the
preference for changes in logo designs was better explained by social
judgment theory, such that no change is preferred, but slight changes
are well tolerated."

The following resources should also be of interest:

New Logos at 3Com and Dell (Technology Advertising Report, 2000)
"When Dell appended "e-com" to its tried and true logo, and 3Com came
out with its radically different "wedding rings" logo, they must have
known the changes would provoke reactions. TechAdReport surveyed
branding experts about their opinions. (...)

[Brent Pulford, creative director/partner at Fresh Advertising,]
continued, "A radical change in branding is not a good move. It
announces we were wrong and we've made a ninety degree turn."

Tom Salvo, senior partner and creative director at HighGround (...),
added, "When you've got a brand name like 3Com or Dell, you make
transitional changes. It really has to be based on a solid strategy.
It remains to be seen; we have to see what the strategy is."

Pulford contrasted 3Com's radical logo change with that of companies
like Coke and Pepsi, who make subtle, incremental, strategic logo
changes year to year. Although these logos are noticeably different
from their inception to present time, Pulford pointed out, "It's never
so different from before that you have a perceptual problem with it.
With 3Com's new logo, people think, 'I thought I knew this company,
but based on what they're presenting me now, apparently I didn't.'

[Tyler Blik of Tyler Blik Design] added, "Overall, a company's brand
is built on recognition and being consistent with their message in the
marketplace. (...)"

Atlanta Business Chronicle - Pulling Strings: UPS ponders a new look
(by Walter Woods, 2003)
"United Parcel Service Inc. is considering changing the familiar logo
painted on its trucks since 1961 to better reflect new aspects of its
businesses. (...)

Companies regularly update their logos and branding to reflect
changing times, said Ken Bernhardt, a marketing professor at the J.
Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

"The key is to make it fresh while maintaining the equity that has
been built with the consumer with the prior logo," Bernhardt said.

Chick-fil-A Inc. has updated its logo several times, he said, as has
The Coca-Cola Co., and many others. "But doing it right is critical,"
Bernhardt said."

Changing your logo: When, why and how
"Here's how to know when it's time to review your corporate logo:

- When there’s been a change in ownership, product mix, corporate
direction or customer base that has caused a fundamental change in
corporate personality.

- When your current logo is 'dated,' and you’re in a highly
competitive, rapidly growing industry that rewards innovation, quick
adaptation and fresh thinking.

- When you’ve found that the color and/or configuration of your logo
makes it difficult to use. (...)

If you do decide that a logo change is needed, working with your
marketing communications agency will allow you to manage your logo
change within the framework of your overall marketing communications
plan. Begin with a corporate positioning statement and logo usage
guidelines to help the designer create logo options with meaning. Use
outside focus groups to test design ideas, rather than relying on
employees and other 'inside' sources who are too close to your company
to be objective. And remember, change is an expensive proposition,
requiring expenditures in every area of a business."

Marketing Partners - Logo Pitfalls
"Your logo design needs to accommodate many different tasks. It has to
convey your company's focus, and it must be easy to read, eye
catching, easily recognizable, timeless and, if all the planets align
correctly, memorable to both your clients and your prospects. With all
this riding on your logo and supportive materials, it's important to
make sure the material is designed properly the first time.

If not, you may find yourself changing your logo every two or three
years. And what kind of an impression does that convey to your clients
and prospects? You may justify all the different changes by claiming
to be a fluid type of company, or on the cutting edge. But your
prospects may view it differently. They may see the continual changes
as a sign of uncertainty, instability or a lack of confidence. Why
take the chance?"

Developing a corporate identity
"If corporate identity development needs dictate changing your logo,
the experts advise retaining some recognizable elements to maintain "a
connection with the previously established identity," according to "Use of the same color scheme or font can
help maintain a company's historical investment in its logo," it

I am not a number, I am a brand (by Ivor Morgan, 2002)
"Simply changing your logo or using different coloured crayons is
re-labelling, not re-branding. Drawing a new picture will not close
the perception gap. Marketing communications might help; redefining
your offering to address the gap might help even more.

Re-branding done Channel 5's way will not change perceptions. The
clever-clever design motifs and metaphors so loved by creative types
only enhance your brand if the audience care enough about it to work
out their meaning. (...)

If you re-brand, your market will reasonably expect you to be doing
something obviously different"

The following book contains a chapter on "Changing Your Logo":

Growing Your Business (Entrepreneur's Bookstore)
"In this revealing, must-have guide, current business owners and
well-known management experts share with you their hard-won secrets of
successful management."

This article is not specifically about logo changes, but contains
valuable information, focussing on newspapers and magazins:

Logo logic (by John Johanek, 2001)
"Every magazine struggles to establish and enhance its identity, and
central to that identity is the logo. Some magazines have logos with
high recognition - even mentioning the magazine conjures a vision of
the logo. Life, red box with white sans serif logo in all caps;
People, cap P, block letters with a bold outline; Elle, vertical serif
font, widely letter spaced, all caps. Some magazines' logos are so
strongly ingrained in the reading public's mind that even subsequent
revisions fail to replace the original. Logos on early issues of The
New Yorker, Esquire and Saturday Evening Post are examples.

The reality, however, is that most magazines aren't strapped with that
particular problem - and, in fact, would feel lucky to inspire such
strong visual retention. More often, their concern is lack of
recognition. Whether you are creating a logo for the first time,
simply assessing the quality of your current logo, or actually
planning to change it, there are several aspects of its design that
can provide a higher level of recognition."

Hope it helps!

Search terms:
"logo changes" design marketing
"changing your logo" marketing
"altered logo" campaign
"history of the logo"
"history of the logo" apple
"history of the logo" dell
"new york times" logo
"logo redesign" "coca cola"
"logo changes" "mcdonald's"
"logo changes" "big companies"
"logo redesign"
signet alterations
"logo redesign" company history
"new company logo" marketing

Clarification of Answer by j_philipp-ga on 01 Apr 2003 02:48 PST
I'm sorry, here's the link for the first document: 
Changes in Logo Designs: Chasing the Elusive Butterfly Curve [DOC]$FILE/Pimentel.doc
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