There is a huge difference between wanting a new logo for your business and needing a new logo. You've worked hard to build an accurate brand message that resonates with your target audience. Switching the image that represents this message is a huge undertaking since it is most likely the main image that customers associate with your brand. Releasing a new logo out of the blue could break the connection your audience has with your brand. This is why it is important to evaluate everything involved in the success of your business and its image. If you randomly change your logo and nothing else about your business, then prepare yourself for pickets and rioting.

Below are a few-but not all-things associated with a business image:

  •          Social media profiles

  •          Blog content and design

  •          Website content and design

  •          Logo

  •          Company name

  •          Business cards

  •          Brochures

  •          Ads

  •          Products / services

  •          Employees

  •          Customer service

When the above items are not complementary of each other, you run the risk of creating a huge disconnect between your brand and your target market. And as we all know, the most essential component needed for a successful business is the customer base. Without loyal customers, a business lacks the demand to be successful.

All of the above elements must be taken into account when deciding if you need a new logo. We all want our companies to evolve, but if we try to force the evolution by only changing the logo and nothing else within the company, it could send customers into a confused-and often angry-talespin. Many times, businesses think that the evolution of their business message lies solely in the logo-this is a fatal error since customers use this logo in conjunction with various other visual and verbal materials to identify the brand. When you just change one element-the logo-you are ruining the big picture of your brand.

If you're ready to kick-start the evolution process of your business, here's what you need to do:

1. Do your research, and talk with customers: Market research and interacting with customers-on social media and in person-are huge when it comes to rebranding. If your target audience is not ready for a change and is still demanding what you currently offer, there's no point in attempting to transform your company-your audience might not want what your new business image has to offer. Be sure you know exactly what your target market wants-only then can you sell to their demands and continue operating as a successful business.

2. Evaluate your brand story: Once you are clear on what your customers want, it is time to evaluate your story so that its mission connects with your prospects. Based on your research, your brand story needs to tell customers what they receive-what is in it for them-when they purchase from your company. You need to tap into a complication your prospects are experiencing, one that ties into their state of mind, situation, and desires-which you should be able to determine from your market research and customer conversations.

3. Get clear on your brand message: Based on the complication your prospects are experiencing, how does your brand solve their problem? What benefits do they receive from purchasing your products?

Be honest with yourself and your customers about what your company stands for and offers. We see many companies that lack a strong and coherent message. Not only do these companies project a different and inaccurate brand message across their various marketing materials, but they also are trying to be everything to everyone-something that is both dangerous and impossible.

When your message is too broad, there is no doubt your customers will misconstrue it; you are enabling them to use their imagination to fill in the gaps, which is highly dangerous for your brand. Your customers can then take this false perception of your brand and look to you to provide something that you actually do not offer. Then, your consumers feel as though they've been lied to.

4. Tweak products / services accordingly: After you have done extensive market research and talked with your prospects on- and offline, it is now time to tweak your products / services based on their needs. Give them what they want and share with them the changes you've made to your products / services via marketing outlets such as social media, an online press release, and website design and web copy.

5. Transform your marketing materials: Only when your business message is clear and accurate can you transform your marketing materials to follow suit. From your social media profiles to your business cards, product labels to stationary, and advertising to web copy, all of your marketing materials must contain a look and feel that is consistent with your brand message.

6. Implement a new logo: This is the laststep in the entire rebranding process and should accurately reflect your new brand image and business as a whole. Make sure it's what you want because you're going to be associated with it for a while!

Views presented here are that of the Author.

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