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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

9 Reasons Why Companies Change Their Logos

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

The most popular and iconic images are the ones we see everyday: logos. If you walk down the street of most cities you will see rapid texting on Apple cell phones, vending machines with Coca-Cola, joggers with Nike shoes and a Toyota driving down the street. When we see logos, we see not only prestige but familiarity. So why would brands change familiar logos? Here are 9 reasons why.     

1. Bad Initial Logo

Some logos are considered bad from the beginning. They can be socially or morally questionable or just too dull. Shell’s original logo of a black and white flat shell was not memorable, appealing, nor inviting. Over the years they have modernized and added color to make the iconic gasoline logo of today.

2. External Influences

Companies may change their logo due to the external environment.Originally, Pepsi’s logo’s colors was simply red and white writing. At the beginning of World War II Pepsi added the color blue at the start of the war to promote and capitalize on the fact that they supported the war effort and that they were the drink US citizens. While Pepsi’s logo has changed since then, Pepsi has still kept their patriotic colors.  

3. Evolution of the product

Often times the consumer’s perceptions of a company do not adjust to changes made within a business. Yellow pages used to be a very helpful tool for finding phone numbers, but now it is commonly perceived as a booster seat or a paperweight. Even though Yellow Pages has advanced into the internet, most people still have the impression of a massive hardcover book. To remedy this, Yellow Pages has changed their logo from a hand searching a book to simply a hand to keep the idea of a person searching but to lose the perception of their information being restricted to paper.

4. Business Acquisition

Many companies make a new identity after a big change like a business acquisition or a merger. The four rings of the Auto Union represent the merger of German four automotive manufacturing companies Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer. They eventually grouped together under the name the first automobile manufacturer Audi, but they still maintained their four rings.  

5. Company Name Change

Many companies change their name their logo at the same time. Subway was originally Pete’s Super Submarines, a small sub shop made to pay his way through college. They changed their name because townspeople were getting confused between the sub shop and a pizza shop with a similar name and subsequently adapted their logo. Since then, Subway is now known for being the second largest sandwich chain.

6. Diversification of products

Some companies accidentally set limits to themselves in their logos. Starbucks Coffee because famous for their mass production of coffee but wanted to sell more products such as tea, pastries and cakes. By eliminating the outer ring from their logo, they continue to advertise the Starbucks brand but allow the perception of the products being sold to expand.

7. International Expansion/ Globalization

Speaking of internationally renowned chain stores, McDonald’s has also changed its logo over time. McDonalds is the everywhere, and that is precisely why it wanted to change its name. While English is the most spoken language in the world, it still can be a deterrent when wanting to spread the message that you can accommodate for customers around the globe. Over time, McDonalds cut out the words of their logo and left the iconic golden arches behind.

8. Making it Memorable

Sometimes even the most subtle changes can have an impact on the brand. Honest tea is a brand that specializes in mass producing healthier teas. Although there is only a slight difference between their original logo and their current logo, it is considered to be significantly more interesting and appealing.

9. Face lift

Even the most famous brands need to refresh their look. Google is undoubtedly a very famous brand. In order to keep up with current trends, it recreated itself to have a younger look that still close enough to the original design that it is recognizable. Many companies, particularly technological companies, are constantly modernizing in order to maintain their consumers.

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