Zara is getting a lot of press for its new logo. If by some chance you haven’t seen the hailstorm of negative attention, you may want to Google it to see what all the hubbub is about. Or just search#zaralogo where you can find some truly funny and entertaining comments. We won’t join in on the Zara logo bashing, but now is a good time to discuss why companies change their logos in the first place.
Mergers and acquisitions
This one seems fairly obvious. If a company, in one way or another, joins another company, do they retain one name/logo and eliminate the other? Is one brand clearly the acquirer and/or does one brand have stronger brand equity? Often times, the merging of two or more firms creates the opportunity for a new name, resulting in the need for a new logo. The new entity hopefully offers something fresh and different to consumers, and a new name and logo are a great way to express that excitement.
The times, they are a changin’
For some companies, if their positioning strongly references and leverages their heritage and longevity, then the look of an old legacy logo is probably appropriate. Think John Deere, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, where their logos have been tweaked (the deer in the John Deere logo now leaps instead of landing, for instance), but essentially remain true to the original. General Electric is one of the oldest logos still in use, but, perhaps now is a good time for it to consider updating its logo to better express current business lines. Sherwin Williams’ logo has been in use for well over 100 years, and designers and branding specialists have been calling for a logo redesign for years. What some see as blood dripping over the earth hardly seems in line with all the elegant and inspiring sample projects they share. If a logo feels outdated and no longer represents the core mission of a company, then it’s time for a redo.
Deciding to appeal to another market, such as high-net-worth or ultra-high-net-worth customers, may require an updated logo that appeals to that market or an altogether different name, logo and brand. Going up or down market has the potential of confusing a target audience and diluting the current brand, so a new logo and brand may be the right solution.