Launching Your New Logo: Six Critical Steps
After months working with your branding agency, you just approved a new logo. You are excited, and maybe a little impatient, to show it off to the world. We get it. But now is not the time to be hasty. There is more work to do. Here are six critical steps to follow before pulling back the curtain.
1. Consult your Trademark Attorney
Trademarking your logo protects your legal rights to it — giving notice of your ownership to prevent anybody from infringing upon those rights. The trademark registration process can be complicated and lengthy. This is a legal issue, and designers aren’t lawyers. You can go through the registration process on your own, but an attorney will ensure your trademark is filed correctly and gives you peace of mind. The best time to get a trademark attorney involved is before you have committed significant resources and money to a particular trademark.
2. (Re)consider your URL
Sometimes a new logo comes with a name change or tweak. Is this change reflected in your web address? Does it need to be? Is it even available? Even if your name stays the same, now is the time to consider whether your URL is still relevant, searchable, and on-brand. And find a bunch of new ones.
3. Develop Key Messaging
Your logo is the most important visual symbol for your brand. But it can’t tell the story on its own. Key messages are needed to fill out the narrative. They clarify your purpose, call your audience to action, and solidify audience perceptions. Key messages articulate why you are special, define your values, and make your promise. Key messaging typically starts with a tagline and is then built into headlines and body copy.
4. Create Brand Guidelines
In order for a logo to be effective, it needs to be used consistently. Tools and rules need to be defined for logo usage and all branding elements (color, typefaces, imagery, brand voice, etc) or your new brand can lose traction quickly. Brand Guidelines are used by designers, writers, vendors and anyone else using your brand’s elements to create marketing materials.
5. Get Your New Logo Files
Sounds simple: “My logo is done, send me the files.” However, there are many different file formats (JPG, EPS, TIF, PNG, AI, etc.) and not all of them are created equally. Some can be used interchangeably. But specific file formats are better built for specific applications. Individual files are built with different color profiles (RGB, CMYK, PMS) so that the colors stay as consistent as possible across all platforms. Use the right logo file format and your logo will always look its best.
Your designer will provide your new logo in various formats and give you guidance to which file formats to use.
6. Have a New Logo Launch Plan
Don’t just print new business cards and swap logos on your website. Create a plan for launching the new brand. And launch from the inside-out.
Show your new logo first to your staff, partners, board members, everyone inside your circle. Share what went into making your new brand. Talk about the significance of shapes, colors, and messaging. An internal launch will establish trust and understanding within an organization, and will create a crew of brand ambassadors.
When launching your logo into the wider world, consider the equity in the old brand. Should the transition happen over time? Or should everything change on Monday at noon? Identify all your media channels and maintain consistent messaging. A comprehensive launch plan ensures a successful brand will rollout.
Now you’re ready to roll!