Imagine yourself walking down the street; you see someone walking towards you whose fashion is totally on point. Their hair and their clothes are instantly impressive and you think to yourself, “that person has style.” Stylish they very well may be and in business, being cool or stylish is important. But, as everyone over a certain age knows, cool is not guaranteed forever.
Times change, and what slips out of fashion doesn’t just look a little strange, it can look wrong and feel uncomfortable. I’m not just talking about flared jeans, mullets or Burt Reynolds; this goes a little deeper than just superficial fashion or style. Your brand is a visual representation of everything you’re about. So if your brand looks dated, then you look dated. While this may not be a problem for customers who’ve been with you from day one, it can be a dangerous turn-off for new customers.
Do not despair. Your business is not doomed to follow Burt Reynolds into the dark abyss. After all, the brewery that makes Stella Artois, one of the most popular beers in the world, has been around for more than 650 years.
Don’t let your logo get stale after 20 years
When a brand (and by extension the logo, as the most obvious visual representation of the brand) is being devised, it needs to reflect the times in which it is operating. That can mean indulging in the trends of the day, including colour palette, font choice, and slogan. However, anything designed to fit the trends of the day will inevitably be untrendy later on. Like bread, your brand can become stale.
The amazing logo that worked fantastically 20 years ago may well look incredibly out of date today. If the world has moved on, you need to keep up.
What does your brand say about you?
It may sound a little self-conscious, but a relevant brand is hugely important in determining what your customer base thinks about you. If your brand is outdated, your customers may think you’re lazy or you don’t care.
It can also reflect on the perception of your actual services. For example, you may be in an industry that has changed significantly over the last 20 years because of technology. You may have been proactive in staying ahead of the times and made sure you’ve been offering modern services at the right prices. But none of that may matter if your brand is old. Even if you’re leading the industry in modern practice, an out-of-date brand will make your customers associate you with the old way of doing things. With the rate industries are changing, looking too old school can be dangerous to your business’s future.
Despite what you think, it’s not all about you. Your customer base is not a static entity that changes its tastes for brand design every so often. Over the years, a business may find its customer base morphing into something completely different. Look at McDonalds; 20 years ago, if someone had told you McDonalds would be selling barista coffee and healthy salads, you’d laugh at them. Yet here we are. McDonalds knew the winds were changing in regards to public perceptions of fast food, so they adapted their brand.
Another example is BP, known for decades as British Petroleum. The company sought to rebrand in 1997 in response to the growing concerns of climate change. The name British Petroleum and the shield-like logo evoked an Old World colonial oil company which would look increasingly out-of-date as environmental causes became more popular. Thus, BP made the decision to change from being an oil company to an energy company. Their logo changed from the old shield to the vibrant flower and they adopted the slogan ‘Beyond Petroleum’. This not only refocused the brand’s focus to a global level, but also gave it the impression that it wanted to be responsible.
The list of great rebrands can go on and on; Microsoft, Qantas, Paypal, Google, Instagram, Target and Woolworths. The one thing they have in common is that their directors understood that a brand does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in a constantly changing world and one which can change over years, or mere weeks. Keeping on top of your brand’s relevance shouldn’t be something you get around to doing one day, it should be something you do every day.
Take a look for yourself.
Crazy right? To put things into perspective, Instagram only launched in 2010. They didn’t wait 20 years for their logo to date. They understand the importance of staying relevant in an ever-changing market.
So how can we help? We’ll do just what we’ve talked about here. Evaluate your business, your values, your brand and how it resonates in the current climate and then create the perfect refresh to truly reflect who you are and the customers.
Take a look at some of the rebrands below that we’ve worked on ourselves and see how your brand makes the world of difference to how your business is perceived by others.