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4 Signs It’s Time to Refresh Your Legacy Logo

Chad Jordan
May 31, 2022

Every bank or credit union executive knows your institution’s logo is one of the most recognizable aspects of your brand. But when’s the last time you looked at your logo with a critical eye and asked yourself if it sets you apart from your competition and shines in a digital forward world?

Because the financial industry is the oldest industry in the world, many banks and credit unions sport “legacy logos,” otherwise known as logos designed by founders and/or logos that have been with the institution since day one. While legacy logos carry nostalgia, it’s likely they don’t represent your current brand, the technology you’ve invested in, the trust you’ve built with your accountholders, and how much you’ve evolved in the digital forward world we are living in.

A powerful logo evokes a sense of trust and connection between your brand and your accountholders and represents loyalty, integrity, evolution, and excellence. According to a recent Sprout Social study, 64% of consumers say they want to feel a connection to the brand they’re considering making a purchase from. That connection breeds loyalty and bottom-line growth. When customers feel connected to a brand, the study shows 57% will increase their spending with that brand and 67% will buy from them over a competitor.

The right logo says everything without saying a word. So how can you be sure your logo inspires connection and reflects trust in a digital era?

Is it time for a brand refresh?

Below are four signs it may be time for a logo refresh:

1. You’ve had the same logo since day one (or even the last 10 years)

While some believe holding onto an old logo portrays stability or security, legacy logos can suggest outdated technology or a lack of progressive services to your accountholders. As the world grows increasingly digital, it’s important your brand reflects that evolution, too. A recent PWC survey found 61% of consumers interact with their bank or credit union’s digital channels weekly – signifying the importance of adapting to the digital era we live in. Your financial institution should consider how your logo renders on different screen widths and other digital mediums, as legacy logos were not designed with digital responsiveness in mind.

2. Your logo doesn’t scale down with ease

Most logos can be enlarged with relative ease, but how small can you go before losing clarity? Try the postage stamp or pen test. If the details or text on your logo don’t translate when scaled down to fit on a postage stamp or the side of a pen, it’s possible you’re losing out on opportunities to shine and be recognized in smaller spaces. Consider notifications on a smartwatch, social media profile images, the favicon on your website, or your digital banking app icon. In today’s digital media – space is at a premium. Ensuring you’re not missing out on opportunities for brand recognition by fitting too much into a small space is critical to your institutions success and remaining relevant in an increasingly digital forward industry.

3. It’s easy to confuse your logo with that of another bank or credit union

Standing out from your competition in a way that’s identifiable and unique is essential when it comes to your brand identity – and it all starts with your logo. In an industry filled with “safe and steady” logo colors and imagery, it’s crucial to intentionally differentiate your visual identity from that of the institution across the street. In a recent Reboot study, 78% of participants were able to recall the primary color of the logos they were shown, compared to the 43% of participants who were able to remember the company’s name.

A good way to recognize your brand’s uniqueness is to consider the potential outcome of this test: If an accountholder was asked to research five community banks or credit unions online to open their next account with – could they easily remember or draw your logo compared to the others? If not, it’s likely too complicated or not unique enough in comparison to your competition.

4. Your logo does not convert from color to black and white easily

One commonality among great logos is their power to remain recognizable in black and white. Not only does this help keep your logo mark simple and memorable, but it also ensures your logo will look great anywhere it’s displayed. From your website to sponsorship materials, branded clothing, and event giveaways – being able to reproduce your logo in black and white guarantees you won’t lose brand recognition or show up awkwardly in different spaces and mediums.

We’re all living through a digital transformation, and your logo should be considered a part of that evolution. Keep in mind that small changes can make a big difference. Look for branding experts who understand how slight changes (keeping similar color palettes, lightly updating fonts, simplifying artwork) can allow your institution to modernize your logo without losing your identity. You’ve spent years building trust, creating connections, and serving your communities. Make sure your logo is supporting those efforts with a modern, effective presence.

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