Your logo is a business tool

Your logo is a tool, not art

We were sitting in the conference room the other day with a new client.  He’s been in business for many years and is very successful.  He’s ready to reallyramp up his marketing and tackle some lofty goals.

And we’re ready to help. (After all, that’s what we do)

He went on to tell us that he really doesn’t like his logo.  It doesn’t tell his company’s story very well, it’s a little expected and in his opinion, it isn’t very attractive.  So the first project he’d like us to launch is a logo re-design.

I took a deep breath and told him no.

Now… granted I said it with more words…and nicer.  But basically I said this:

  • No logo is going to tell the whole story of your business
  • You have over a decade of equity in your current logo
  • Your current logo isn’t costing you any customers or any money (no one’s not choosing you because of your logo)
  • Your current logo is fine.  It’s not perfect and we’d be able to come up with something better.  But not so much better that it will line your pockets.
  • Remember a logo cost is far beyond just the cost of designing a new logo.  There are legal costs to register it, you have to re-print all of your business cards, letterhead, etc., your staff’s uniforms would need to be changed and your trucks would need to be re-vinyled.  Then, there’s building signage etc, etc. etc.

I summed it up with… if the only reason you want to change your logo is because you don’t like it, it’s not a good enough reason.  It’s not a piece of art you choose to put in your home, it is a business tool and your current logo is doing the job adequately.

I also told him, it was his company.  And if he hated the logo that much and he gritted his teeth every day when he saw it and it haunted him in his dreams — we’d design him a new logo.  But that if it was my money — I wouldn’t spend it there.

Do not get me wrong.  A logo is a very important part of your marketing effort.  Most logos suck and should be changed.  But his didn’t.  And it shouldn’t be changed for the subjective reason of his personal taste.

Your logo is a business tool.  If it’s doing a good job — leave it be.


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10 comments on “Your logo is a business tool

  1. Bob Leonard says:

    Good story, Drew. You did the right thing for the client. I know you’ll use those funds on something that’ll drive profitable business to him.

  2. They may as well paint the break room. It’ll have a similar impact on business.

  3. thats right its marketing using your logo throughout all the PR you do that customers will rememebrr you for. keep it consistant throughout your brand in email,letters,brochures etc

  4. Logos are important, but they have to be recognisable. Redesigning it drastically all the time isn’t going to get you anywhere. Great advice Drew, your client’s a lucky man!

  5. It is crazy to focus on the techincal part so much. You must focus on the content on what you write and even more importantly is if you have an audience that gets to know, like and trust you.

    If you do not have those three factors in it. Nothing else matters.

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    1. Lawrence,

      You’ll get no argument from me on the importance of the content. I do think a logo is an important tool. But it needs to be looked at that way — as opposed to a piece of art that you either like or don’t like.

      To be fair — this particular client wasn’t being an art critic. His business has grown and changed over the years and the logo put too much emphasis on one aspect of his business. But…it still was too valuable and too recognizable to change at this stage of his mature business’ life cycle.


  6. Rojae,

    Oh, don’t get me wrong — a logo is a very important part of your business. Which is why the idea of changing it should be thought through very, very carefully.


  7. Bernie VT says:

    this is a test, this is a test …only a test !!
    I did the time, read the book and now have the results for your review
    go ahead and rate my results
    please look at
    PLEASE send me your thought 1= bad 5- poor
    10= it works … Thank you

    1. Bernie,

      A question…what’s the blue box representing?


  8. Vinnie Vinson says:

    I’d like Drew to weigh in on his opinion of the Korean Airlines/Pepsi logo and the trunkless Superman costume.

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