Google’s New Logo: When is the right time for a new logo?

Google unveiled a new logo- should you?

Today, Google unveiled a new logo.  You may have seen it sneakily switched out on their search page about an hour ago, but if not, here is Google’s new logo:

Google's new logo 2015

On their blog, they said,

Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!

Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).

It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo.

Read more about Google’s new logo and watch a video of Google’s identity changing over time, here.

Google’s new logo and branding announcement raises the question: when should you rebrand?  We often have this discussion with clients as we work with them to create the best possible internet presence and marketing strategy.  While we love working on logo and branding packages for new businesses, we also greatly enjoy helping existing businesses refine their identity.

How To Tell if Your Business Needs A New Logo

There are a number of reasons a business might rebrand.  When discussing a possible rebrand with our clients, these are some of the things we consider:

1.  Is the current logo outdated?

Logos that were designed in the 80’s or 90’s look like logos that were designed in the 80’s or 90’s.  These logos were often designed with print marketing in mind, not web and typically do not translate well to web design or use on mobile phones.  This is especially true for long, short logos that may become unreadable on small screens, or tall, portrait logos that can present a design challenge on your website.  Even some logos that were designed in more recent years could look outdated if they followed trends of the times.  Having an outdated logo makes your business risk looking outdated and may alienate customers who are looking for a fresh, current product or service.

2.  Were there changes in the business?

We recently spoke with someone who works for a non-profit organization that was previously a for-profit business.  When there are big changes in your business – changes in ownership, changes in legal structure, changes in management, or significant changes in the products or services being offered – one of the best ways to highlight that change for customers can be a logo and branding change.  This is especially true if you want to divorce your business today from a past, negative reputation.  If you’re trying to overcome a significant challenge in how your business is viewed, changing your name and image may be integral to re-framing your business in the public’s mind.

3.  Is the target market expanding?

A rebrand can be a public way of highlighting your company’s evolution. As small businesses grow and expand, a new logo can help identify them as the more sophisticated and larger companies they have become.  Additionally, a change in logo and your business’ corresponding identity might be necessary to appeal to your expanded market.  Geographically anchored logos are a good example of this.  Many small businesses in Colorado utilize mountains in their logo – this works well until those start trying to target customers in Florida, for example, who can’t related to a logo with mountains – keeping mountains in a logo may work as a business expands, or it may make that business seem like a less appealing choice when compared with another that appears to be more local.

4.  Is the brand name or logo generic?

Business names and logos that are “forgettable” or that don’t standout in a crowd are more of a liability than an asset.  If no one can remember the name of your business how will they get in touch with you?  If your business looks and sounds just like every other business in your industry, what will make a new customer choose you over your competitors?  Good logos work for you.  They stand out and are unique.  Good logos do not use basic fonts that came installed on your computer, they don’t use stock graphics or images, and they typically do not come from competitive design websites like 99designs.  It has been our experience that it is often better to have no logo than to have a bad logo.

The Right Way to Rebrand

As Google and many other large companies have shown us, rebranding businesses can often lead to success: large increases in customers and sales, and a stronger company identity that helps with driving the business’ strategic plan.  There have also been cases where a business’ attempt at a rebrand was a flop, like The Gap’s rebranding attempt, as pointed out in GetVoIP’s helpful rebranding do’s and don’ts infographic below.

How To Rebrand Your Business Infographic

Have more questions?  Think it’s time for a new logo for your business?  Contact us today!

Thoughts or Questions?

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