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Branding Your Business

Is It Time for You to Rebrand? Lessons From Hillary Clinton’s New Logo


There comes a natural point where every business owner considers a rebrand. Perhaps you’ve recently secured a loan or funding, or just successfully completed your biggest revenue quarter. Maybe your business is in a slump and in need of a revival, and you think a new visual identity will give your business the boost it needs.

There have clearly been successful rebrands – and some costly mistakes – made by global corporations. PepsiCo’s multi-million dollar effort in new Tropicana packaging resulted in a staggering 20 percent decrease in profits – from a new logo design! Just this month, we’ve had successful rebrands by Army West Point, with the skilled assistance of the brand geniuses at Nike, and the Washington Wizards (sans a wizard – gasp!). Most buzzworthy has been the recent rebrand of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her brand is substantially different from her 2012 logo design, which focused on the traditional stars and stripes. The 2016 campaign logo has a now-famous arrow pointing to the right.

While it’s too soon to tell if the rebrand will deliver the Oval Office to Hillary Clinton, there are lessons to be learned from the exercise. Here are 3 wise reasons to consider a rebrand.

Your Products or Services Have Changed or Evolved

As a business matures and grows, it can undergo many changes in order to adjust to new needs, unexpected challenges, or properly leverage new opportunities. Perhaps you have expanded your initial set of products and services, and your logo design is no longer broad enough to represent your full offering. Or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, maybe you launched with a wide array of products and services and have found that only a subset resonated with your customers or were profitable to the business. Successful businesses adapt, and as your business evolves, so should your brand and your visual identity. While your logo design does not need to be a one-for-one or literal representation of your business, it should be accurate and relevant. If your current logo suggests something that is no longer part of your business, it needs a refresh at the very least. You don’t want to mislead your potential customers only to disappoint.

Your Fixed Assets are Worn Out or Irrelevant

Has your storefront sign survived too many winters? Are your menus beginning to look tattered and torn? Often, these critical fixed assets were created around the same time and as such, may start to wear around the same time as well. Before investing in reordering or reproducing these important items for your business, ask yourself if you want to explore a new logo design before you reorder these items. Depending on the needs for your specific business, the requirements for your logo may change. Perhaps you realized that the horizontal or vertical orientation of the logo didn’t work on the specific types of products you were using daily to run your business. Take stock of your stock of materials and evaluate whether your business’ needs have changed, both in terms of items and visual identity. It’s less prudent to do a rebrand if you have over a year’s worth of branding materials waiting to be used.

Your Customer’s Experience Has Changed How You Do Business

One of the true joys of running a business is interacting with happy customers. Your customers are the driving force behind your business and often the inspiration for new ways to deliver your products and services. When Airbnb first garnered attention in the travelsphere, it was just as important for the business to define the new shared-economy space as it was to prove itself as the business to use to travel in this new way. When the fast-growing company debuted a new logo design in 2014, it was met with harsh feedback. Seeing as how two of the three co-founders of Airbnb both hail from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, the response was surprising. The founders of Airbnb said that their brand had simply evolved, and not just once, but many times since its founding in 2008. Its new symbol, the Belo, represents how Airbnb is not just about a place to stay, but the people behind those places and the unique community that this type of global sharing creates. The new symbol can be customized, nationalized, specialized, and more by guest hosts around the world. And this feedback came straight from their customers and guest host partners

No matter what decision you ultimately make about a rebrand, keep in mind that branding does not have to be expensive, even the second or third time around. And while it’s being called out as a cheap logo created by MS Paint, Hillary Clinton’s new logo has certainly generated a considerable amount of press and buzz since its launch. Shouldn’t a great logo get people talking? You decide.