Logos – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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It’s often one of the most visually memorable ties to your business or organization.  It can also be one of the most valuable or overlooked or maybe the most controversial components of your marketing strategy.  We’re talking about your logo.

Might it be too whimsical, too busy or understated?  Too old fashioned; overly modern?  What about colors?  Is it used consistently on all your print materials and social media postings?  Bottom line:  Does it leave a positive, lasting impression on those who see it?

Insightful questions, all.   As for the answers, not all might be a simple yes/no.  Let’s consider some examples.

Golden arches and a red-colored bull’s eye.  Simple shapes and single color palettes.  Logos – and, in turn, brands – quickly recognizable even without inclusion of their McDonalds and Target names.  These are samples of the ‘Good.’  So, too, are those of Google and eBay which use only a text name, but have more dramatic use of color.  Overall, these identifiers have withstood the test of time.

Now for the ‘Bad.’  Rather, let’s think of them in a more positive light — those that have gone through ‘evolutionary’ changes.  First, Starbucks.  Since 1971 their logo has been modified three times; the most recent and most dramatic coming in 2011 when they removed their name completely from the image.

Earlier this year General Motors’ Cadillac division announced it was dropping the wreath that for decades bordered the crest used in its logo.  Rarely do brand logo changes stir consumer emotion.  Not so in this case, as some Cadillac loyalists had a tear in their eye.  Why the change?  To be more “modern, sleek and streamlined,” the maker’s reps say, just like its current vehicle lineup.

More controversial has been that of JC Penny’s.  During the span of three years their ‘mark’ changed significantly an equal number of times.  Starting with basic name, a graphic block was added.  Next, a redesigned graphic appeared and the name replaced with the ‘JCP’ initials.  Most recently they reverted back to using only their simple, well-established name.  We’re sure a lot of hours and expense (and likely some emotion, too) were directed into these seemingly nonstop rebranding initiatives.  Only time will tell if the merry-go-round of changes has helped or hindered consumer perception of the retail chain.

Finally, the ‘Ugly.’  The worst logo by far for any enterprise is not having one at all.  Simple as that!

Regardless if you operate a century-old company, small town storefront or a recently launch online shop, our experts at JTE Marketing Group can help ensure your brand has the logo it deserves!

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