25 Apr 2016

So you want a new logo. Great. Now, what’s the real problem?

Looks matter, but not at the expense of focus, says Lucia Di Stazio, Director of full-service agency MRA Marketing.

If I had a pound for every time a customer has said they need a new logo when really they need a new strategy and then maybe yes, a new logo, I’d be sunning myself on a beach in the Maldives by now. Very often the burning need for a brand ‘refresh’ can come from something more significant; a sense that something isn’t quite working but you’re not sure what. Fixing the most obvious, visible symbol of the company can seem like the first place to start, when in fact, it should be the last.

A new logo is not a quick fix, or a patch over for a business unravelling. Direction and focus are what keep businesses afloat, and a plan. You have to have a plan.

Obsessing over looks, worrying what your logo says about you, how your typeface is different, or whether this shade of orange is better than that for your next corporate brochure can all distract you from the real problem. Sure. Looks matter. But not at the expense of focus.

Travis Kalanick, the boss of the people’s online taxi network Uber, has come under criticism recently for spending the best part of three years learning about kerning so he could be hands-on with the company’s in-house rebrand. The result is not one but two new logos (totally unrecognisable from the original) and 65 country variations. So far, the new look has taken a pasting from customers on social media but only time will tell whether Kalanick has made the right call. Some would argue he should be spending more time improving his service and customer care. He says he’s simply bringing the branding in line with where the company’s at and making it more flexible and relevant to his target markets.

So, it seems Uber has a plan. But not every company does and that’s where filling the void with a pretty logo can seem like a smart move. But before you crack open the magic markers, you need to get your ducks in a row. Really think about what it is your company stands for. What do you offer, how is it different and what are the benefits to your customers? What are your goals? Where do you want your brand to be 3, 5, 10 years from now? Then create a plan and a strategy to get you there. The pretty logo will follow.

Not got a strategy? Need help to grow your brand? Talk to Tom Rigby on 01453 521621 or tom@mra-marketing.com, and follow us on Twitter @MRAMarketing or LinkedIn

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