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can I change logo and use it | IntreXDesign & Associates

Can I Change A Logo And Use It?

Here’s some really good advice. You never (ever) want to cut, slice, chop, or sever your logo. It’s the ultimate way to diminish your brand.

Why Is A Logo Is So Important

Everywhere we go we see logos established to create recognition among different products or services. A logo, sometimes referred to as an identity or symbol, offers three distinct advantages once established:

  1. First, a logo needs to be instantly recognized. Think McDonald’s with its yellow arch symbol.
  2. Second, the creation of a logo is to separate one company’s products or service from another company.
  3. Third, a company or nonprofit’s logo becomes synonymous with certain value-added benefits when consumers use their products or services over competitors. An example of this is FedEX. FedEx is well-known for speedy delivery, distinguishing them from the U.S. Post Office.

Promoting Brand Awareness

The role of marketing is to communicate and promote brand awareness. To be effective in marketing, a logo needs to be creditable, trustworthy, and essentially establish a relationship with a loyal audience. When a logo becomes ingrained in all aspects of print, web, and social media marketing, it emerges exclusively. For this reason, changing a logo in any way, diminishes it’s characteristics. 

Therefore, since a logo becomes recognized within its industry, the benefits that a product or service offers its audience under the logo, is linked to solving a problem or supporting a common cause. It’s extremely important to retain a logo’s appearance; as addressed in Loyalty Builds Brands But Consumers Can Lose Loyalty.

Changes To A Logo Changes The Consumers Perception

Once, I noticed a logo I created had been altered. It was placed on a promotional piece sent to their audience. The logo (which I haven’t be granted permission to share), and its proportions were changed making the logo look different and off balance. The original format of the logo was maintained on all other promotional outlets except this one. I don’t know the reason why this decision was made. When a logo is changed ever so slightly from its original format (and this is not a new logo) the recognition of that logo among its audience changes too.

The Reasons Why Altering A Logo Is Not A Good Idea

With this observation came a teachable moment to express the reasons why branding is so important. For starters a logo is personal, it has a legacy, and maintaining sameness within your own marketing efforts will bypass the temptation to tamper with a brand’s consistency. Even though modifying your personal or corporate logo may seem to make sense, it defies the established brand for a number of reasons.

  1. Precedence Follows. Modifying a logo opens the door to more manipulation; creating a precedent that the logo can easily be changed. As innocent as this sounds, once that door is opened other changes tend to follow just as innocently.
  2. Message of the Brand. When a logo is altered, the very logic for how and why the logo was created changes too. A successful logo takes forethought, research, and a recognition to visually communicate certain values that best position the logo in the market. For instance, if a logo uses thick lines within its identity, this might represent strength, stability, quality, or dependability. Altering the logo can lose it’s meaning. Its like building a foundation for a house, and a hurricane comes along and changes the portions making that solid foundation less stable. It may look similar but it’s less recognizable. That’s the weight of importance when building a consistent brand.
  3. Emotional Connection. A deviation from a recognized logo can change the loyalty and emotional attachment which first attracted a consumer to the brand. A perfect example of this is when Coca-Cola decided to change its original formula in the mid 80s with a new Coke formula. What happened? A public outcry ensued. Consumers became disenchanted with Coca-Cola because the original formula was so popular in taste, consistent with their expectations, and loved as a favorite beverage. When Coca-Cola changed their brand, consumers perception of this long-standing company changed too. Coke lovers strongly opposed, felt betrayed, and resented Coke for blindsiding them with a really bad decision. When companies compete among other products or services that brand is the unifying factor that separates one product or service from another. Therefore the more consistent the brand the more loyal the customer.
  4. Confusion Emerges. When related industries compete, sometimes the language and messaging can sound similar. To reduce confusion, a logo must carry the same visual imagery across all mediums. This helps maintain and attract new and current audiences who follow the value of your offerings. Having different brand versions only hinder marketing efforts.
  5. Unconscious Branding. Science has proven the way we choose products and services is deeply rooted in unconscious branding. The belief is our emotional side plays a bigger role in how we choose a product or service—it’s largely based on our emotions. The connection can be deeply seated in our childhood, a life changing experience, or repetitive messaging that is grounded through our senses. This puts more emphasis on keeping logos fully intact—the way they were originally created.

Two Ways To Manage Your Brand

With some validity on why branding is so important, here is two practical ways to manage your own brand.

  1. The best way to maintain stability is to create a style guide that clearly outlines how your logo can be used. Style guides address every facet of the logo’s identity, including acceptable and improper uses of your brand.
  2. The second approach is to hire someone, who can oversee the distribution of your logo’s identity with your best interest in mind. IntreXDesign & Associates can certainly assist with this, let us know by visiting our Project Brief form for an estimate.

Both are very effect approaches and well used techniques by large companies who look to reinforce their brand by building strong relationships in their markets.

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