Think Before Changing Your Logo

I am not an expert on logo’s, but I’ll give myself a nice pat on the back on understanding the remarkable and what people are drawn to. It seems a lot of companies have been changing or tweaking their company logo’s as of late, so here are my thoughts on the most recent change I read about:

Recently Seattle’s Best Coffee, which was acquired by Starbucks in 2003, has changed their logo. The reason for the redesign – they hope to be a symbol of universally “good coffee someday”. A logo doesn’t give you good coffee. High quality beans, a great brewing process, barista’s who know their trade, customer experience give you good coffee. The logo is an after-thought, an association.

Part of the idea behind this probably stems from company growth. Currently Seattle’s Best is very limited, situated in roughly 3,000 locations. Starbucks is looking to grow the brand dramatically to 30,000 by the end of next year.

Is this a good move from the company? Most likely not. The company already has a set image that has been established. A rebrand of a company logo is hard to accomplish – and most importantly, what is the reason why? It would have been better to spin off a group of products with the newer logo (if the decision was based around being generic, sustainable, low cost) instead of trying to rebrand a whole company.
Some great logo failures

Tropicana

Possible Success
Dodge might have done it right, using the Ram symbol for the Trucks, and a different symbol for their regular cars. If they aren’t doing anything else besides changing a logo, it’s a failure.

People don’t like change. They don’t like things being taken away, even they are replaced by something that is superior. Here is a great short blogpost by 37signals on the Art of Taking Things Away

Bottom line – understand your goal and work on the things that really matter. If the logo is part of the rebranding process, then fine, but it’s not your logo that makes your brand. Also, be wary of trends … most of the logo’s I’ve been seeing lately are really poppy – rounded, flatter colors, not a ton of detail, and from a non-graphic artist perspective – lack character. Does this mean you’ll have to change your logo again in 20 years to go with a new trend? Just some food for thought.

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First post – a bit about me

I was debating on writing a blog for the past few weeks as a way to lay out ideas as they came to me, and allowing them to grow instead of keeping them abstract. I had two turning points that settled my decision.

The first came with a book that I am currently reading called Rework, which is a book by 37signals. The biggest issue I had was where to start … what website should I use, should I buy a domain, what exactly will I write about – the questions were endless. One repeated message in this book is to just go out and do things. You can always tweak things along the way

The second was a clip I watched with Seth Godin & Tom Peters on blogging. The clip isn’t even 2 minutes long, but the message was strong. How can you force yourself to describe, within a few paragraphs, how or why you did something? This is a drastic change in mindset and forces you become part of the conversation, to be proactive instead of sitting back.

Now that I’m here, I guess it’s time to tell you a bit about myself.

I’ve worked a variety of jobs in a variety of fields, from start-ups and small biz, to healthcare and higher ed.  I always was thinking of ways to enhance business – how can we do things better and be more productive? Are we saying and doing the right things?

I realized my true calling was working with innovative ideas and using creative strategy to grow businesses. This led me to the UK to complete an MBA with an emphasis on strategy and innovation, and this blog will be designed around those themes. It might be slow moving at first while I try to get the hang of this … but hop on and enjoy the ride!