"Will you look at my new logo?" "I'm rebranding, will you look at my website?"
If you've ever spoken to another photographer, you've probably heard a question similar to these. In fact, you very well may have asked one of them at some point. It's not that uncommon for photographers to be changing their marketing materials on a regular basis - but is it helpful?
First, your logo isn't your brand. Your brand is the way people feel about you and your business. Your logo simply represents that experience. Changing your logo doesn't change your brand. In fact, it can often simply confuse it.
Your brand is the sum of the experiences that a consumer has with your company. It's based on the interactions they have with you, the quality of the product you deliver, and the way you make them feel. The logo simply helps reflect the impression. It's true that a poorly designed logo can certainly cast doubt on your brand promise, but...
Believe it or not, often a "bad" logo is better than a "new" logo. When you change your logo, you cash in any equity you might have had. Even if you don't love your logo, chances are your clients (and potential clients) hardly notice it - until you change it.
One of the disadvantges of working for yourself is that you don't have to check off with anyone before making changes to things like your logo. The end result is that photographers like to tinker and tweak away at things like websites, logos, business cards, and color schemes. This prevents you from building consistency in your overall brand experience, and consistency is the most important key to building your brand promise.
In reality, there are only two good reasons to change your logo - to escape negative brand sentiment, or to reflect a major change in your business. If you're making a major change, it can make sense to incorporate new brand collateral in that process, as you work with a professional brand consultant or designer. If you've changed your focus (or found your focus) a "re-branding" can help clarify the story you're telling your ideal client, and reframe your marketing.
On the other hand, if your business has a high amount of negative brand sentiment, a new logo won't fix your problem - but it might help give you a fresh start when introduced along with changes to your business (see reason above). If you don't fix the problem, there's no negative sentiment that can be fixed by changing your logo.
So, why are you getting a new logo again? What do you think - I'd love to read your thoughts below: