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Practicing What We Preach: A Marketing Firm Updates Its Brand


March 17, 2017

When a client hires us as its marketing communications firm, we almost always start the onboarding process with a discovery session aimed at eliciting the core characteristics that define the client's organization. We're looking for qualitative traits – personality traits really – that will allow us to craft a positioning statement. It's the first step in creating a strong brand and an essential starting point to develop a logo. After all, a logo is the visual shorthand for what a company stands for.

Recently, after much cajoling and prodding by my adoring fans (that's my staff!), the principal of this Miami ad agency (that's me!) did some good old fashioned self-reflection about how well our logo represented our firm's positioning. Did it capture the essence of who we are and how we want our audiences to see us? Did it advance our positioning as a top-tier healthcare marketing firm, a digital advertising agency, a leading business-to-business shop, or an expert in the not-for-profit sector? And did our logo still have the aesthetic appeal it once had?

The answer was no – to all of the above. So the shoemaker had no shoes, and it was time go out and get a new pair of kicks.

Once we made the decision to update our logo, the process was relatively straightforward. We followed the same process we administer for our clients: creating a brand platform, developing a graphic interpretation of the brand platform (that's the logo), and refining the artwork to meet practical and aesthetic requirements. In our case, we wanted to preserve the graphic "spirit" of our mark from when it was created to represent a Miami public relations firm. We abandoned hard-to read, 1980s-style typography, and simplified a multi-layered icon that was oftentimes challenging to reproduce. We also composed the logo to work in both horizontal and vertical applications.

A strong logo can support a company for decades, but as companies and the environments in which they work change with increasing speed, the lifespan of a logo has gotten shorter and shorter. So…when is it time to renovate? And when you determine the time has come to change your logo, do you aim for "evolution" or "revolution?" In our next blog, we'll provide some guidelines for making the decision. More to come!