How Important is a Logo to Your Business?
I always get bombarded with questions whenever a big company changes its logo, especially in the tech space. I’ve gotten questions about Medium, Uber, and now it’s about Instagram. I usually don’t even respond because I don’t have a lot of emotion for the question.
I can understand why people like to talk about it. It’s fun. Whether you like the changes or you don’t, it’s entertaining to argue and debate. It’s like when the logo of your favorite sports team changes. But here’s the thing: If anyone actually cares about Instagram’s design changes, then they don’t realize that Instagram is a business and not a museum.
In the context that I come from, if you want a piece of art that will debated for the rest of time, then a design really matters. But, from a business standpoint, the change has zero impact on Instagram’s bottom line. Of course, certain changes can have a huge impact on business. For example, it would be majorly impactful if the design of the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) was altered to try and make people stay on the app longer and engage more frequently.
The logo and changing colors in the app don’t have as much impact.
I’m not poo-pooing design. I am not saying that design changes should never be addressed. Sometimes, it can actually affect the publicity, perception, and the stock prices of the brand. But most of the time, the discussion is just the press over-engaging with it. While a logo is an important part to a brand’s identity, it’s not everything.
People don’t realize that Instagram is a business and not a museum.
Personally, I don’t love Instagram’s new logo and I didn’t love Uber’s or Medium’s new logos either. That’s one man’s subjective opinion. For the first week since Instagram’s swap, I’ve noticed I have been using the app less. This is likely due to the fact that I got used to the original logo and I’m not used to looking for this new one on my phone. Please keep in mind that I am just a focus group of one and my experience may be the opposite case for others. Net net, after about 7–8 days I was back to my normal Instagram usage.
What’s important to remember is that a logo (and even a company’s name) will always be trumped by the quality of the product. For example, I have friends who say, “I feel bad about Uber’s choices in doing x,y,z” as they are currently riding in an Uber.
I’m a big fan of actions over words. People can hate the logo but use the product even more today than they did before the change. It’s like all those people who say they are going to move to Canada if they don’t like the next President. I have yet to meet one person who actually moved when they said they would because Bush or Obama was elected. A lot of people like to say things like this on social media, but I care what people actually do versus what they say. As a matter of fact, this is one the arbitrages I like to play the most.
Here’s the thing, whether you’re a startup or a PepsiCo of the world, it doesn’t matter what I think of your logo or the name of your company. Maybe I was being Old Man McGee over Instagram’s change because I was just used to the other one. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. If a company executes on the product, the service, the narrative, the user experience, and the many other things that go into a successful business, the easiest thing to get over is a logo. If your product sucks, your logo design means nothing. Execution is the end result.
If you liked my answer to this question, check out this episode of The #AskGaryVee Show: