In Recognition of Those Marketers Who Leave Well Enough Alone

Monkeying With Your Logo Upsets Your Most Faithful Consumers

By Published on .

Steve Olenski
Steve Olenski
With all the talk over the past few months regarding new logos, old logos coming back and on and on, I thought it was high time we showed some love to those advertisers who have not changed their logos. These are the ones who have stayed true to their logos amidst the digital/social/mobile fusillade of innovations and technologies that constantly bombards us, the American consumer.

Look, I'm all for progress and moving forward and changing with the times and all that jazz, but whatever happened to the adage "If it's not broken, don't fix it?"

Seriously, was there anything wrong with the now-old Starbucks logo?

Of course there wasn't.

Vikas Mittal, a professor of marketing at Rice University, along with two others, recently conducted two studies dealing specifically with consumer reaction to logos.

Among other things, the studies revealed:

  • The higher the consumer's commitment to the brand, the more negative the consumer's reaction to any changes in the logo design.

  • A logo change elicited three times more negative thoughts among strongly committed consumers than among consumers with weak commitment to the brand.

  • After a change in a logo, strongly committed consumers held a more negative attitude of the brand than consumers who had low brand commitment.

Perhaps that explains why protests are planned as loyal Starbucks patrons are percolating (sorry, bad coffee humor) over the new logo.

But enough about Starbucks. I want to show some love, some unabashed love for those companies who have not changed their logos.

Quite frankly, I don't even care about the reasons behind their unchanged status. The bottom line is I like them, I've grown accustomed to them, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

The Ford Oval
This is truly one of the best-known corporate symbols in the world.

Yes, I know it has changed over the years, but it has stayed the same since 2003.

The FedEx Mash Up
In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it as one of the eight best logos of the past 35 years.

And I know the "Ex" in FedEx comes in a wide array of colors, but the basic logo is the same and has been since 1994. In today's world, that's saying a lot.

The IBM Bars
There are not many more iconic American companies than the one formerly known as International Business Machines.

While you may see this logo portrayed in varying colors, the eight bars are now as famous as the three letters they form.

And the logo has been around since 1972. That's just mind-blowing.

So there you have it: three examples of companies who have somehow managed to remain famous and successful all the while using an "old" logo.

Of course in today's world, any logo older than three seconds is considered old.

Steve Olenski is creative director-digital services at The Star Group. He is based in Philadelphia.
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