Originally published February 16, 2016 at Lumin8 Strategy & Design Agency Inc.
Change makes people nervous. It challenges our unspoken agreement of the status quo and requires a pledge of trust that many of us just aren't that comfortable making. Just ask Google.
On September 2, 2015, Google introduced their new logo and immediately were inundated with the cries of Internet users everywhere; from those who loved it ("New Google logo: 5 reasons the change makes sense" - Tech Radar) to those who hated it ("Why You Hate Google's New Logo" - New Yorker).
And Yet We Keep Doing It...
Such polarization and controversy are certainly not uncommon and can constitute a real risk to hard-earned customer loyalty so why are companies such as Uber ("Uber Explains Its Bizarre New Logo" - Fortune), Spotify ("Revealed: Spotify had no idea how much you’d hate its new logo color" - TNW News), and IHOP ("IHOP’s New Logo Smiles At You! (Like A Deranged Clown)" - Fast Company) still willing to take the drastic leap?
Your brand is who you are and changing it should never be considered lightly but here are 5 reasons why making that change could be worth the risk.
1. To distance yourself from a negative event
Sometimes when a bad image has nothing to do with you but is the result of an evil doppelganger moving in and positioning itself in your market, as was the case with the ISIS chocolate company and the Tea Party Bookshop, the only thing you can do is make the change and move on. Just make sure your new direction is better than the one you are moving from or you can end up paying the price twice.
2. To clarify or better define a nondescript brandChange can damage a brand if not handled properly but so can obscurity. If nobody can remember you, or wants to, then perhaps a change is exactly what you need. People need to know who you are and what you are about before they will trust you. Whatever you have to say, make sure it's loud and clear.
3. To better represent an evolved product or serviceEverything evolves and your business is no exception. To be a success means learning to accept and even encourage change when necessary. If your product or service of five years ago no longer accurately represents what you currently offer then why are you still telling your customers it does? Make sure everyone is speaking the same language by giving them the brand that spells it out in no uncertain terms.
4. To change your target marketHaving your business grow can be a sure sign that you are doing things right but while growth can be a good thing it can also present its share of challenges. How do you sustain it? Sometimes those smaller clients you have been courting just aren't enough to pay the bills anymore and it's time to kick things up a notch. Looking the part of an industry leader can mean the difference when landing those bigger clients and when it does, it's time to go big or go home.
5. To rejuvenate interest in the marketSometimes things get stale. It happens to cookies and bread and it can happen to you. If it does, don't just resign yourself to obscurity; dust yourself off and get a fresh conversation started. Rejuvenating a brand can shake things up and though some of the feedback may be negative, at least people have started talking. Where you take the discussion from there is entirely up to you.