Does the 'Face' of Your Nonprofit Need an Update?
Some of the top brand experts in the world often recommend that you think of your brand as a person. A brand, like a person, has a personality, a tone, a visual representation, a set of values and can sometimes represent something important to the larger public. Your brand even delivers a conversation through the content you develop and communicate across multiple channels.
With all that said, many people have a tendency to think first about the actual logo when they think about the brand. You have to keep in mind that your brand is so much more than a logo, but you absolutely need to make sure it is the best it can be!
The brand strategists over at Eleventy have come up with reasons you don't (or do) need to update your brand logo.
If your logo clears these four hurdles, there’s probably no real need for a redesign at this point (though you may want to revisit this list again in a year):
- It visually fits in the now. One of the key reasons companies redesign logos is they begin to show their age. With the Web, visual standards are changing more quickly than they did in the past (which is one of the reasons we’re seeing many more logo redesigns). If your logo doesn’t look dated or show any cobwebs, you’ve just knocked out one of the most compelling reasons to redesign.
- It accurately represents who you are. Another key driver of logo redesigns is rebranding efforts (which companies are also doing more frequently these days). Typically as the brand shifts, the logo needs to change to reflect the new or updated brand identity. If you haven’t rebranded since your logo design, and it still accurately represents your identity, mission and services, that checks off another reason not to redesign your logo.
- It works well across channels. Many recent redesigns are the result of organizations aiming to create logos that can be used anywhere—print ads, billboards, websites, landing pages, social media, etc. A lot of old company logos were designed as print-first and didn’t translate all that well to the Web. The trend these days is flat, simple logos that work well across the board. If your logo looks good on the Web and anywhere else you stamp it, that’s another good reason to nix the idea of a redesign.
- You (and your audience) are happy with it. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a logo comes down to two things: people and perception. That applies both within your organization and to the audiences you are trying to reach. If you and the people in your organization like your current logo, that’s a good sign. More importantly, if your customers or donors clearly identify your logo and respond positively to it, that’s a great reason to keep it the same until those feelings change
Did you make it through that checklist with no issues driving you to change? Let’s face it—there was a time about five to 10 years ago where a lot of organizations were redesigning their logos. In some of those cases, I’m not really sure why the organizations did what they did. But, if you feel good about the four steps above—sit back and focus on something that is more important to the organization and your constituents.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.