It's a rainy afternoon and you've got a hot cup of tea and a box of dominoes. You set them up on end, one next to the other in a snaking line across your dining room table. Then you bump the first domino and watch as the rest fall down, one after the other.

Redesigning your logo is more than just fun and games

Changing your logo is a lot like playing dominoes—once you start, you have to keep knocking over project after project until you've got all of your marketing pieces set up again.

Once you decide to create a new logo, you'll instantly find a whole new list of to-dos. This would include setting up the brand definition, expressing it in a logo, and then making sure that all of the rest of the pieces flow from those

Knocking down those to-dos takes more effort than the simple little bump that topples over the row of dominos.

What does redesigning really mean?

Think back to the first time you designed your logo—the work, time, expense, and thought you had to put into the project. Just because this is a redesign doesn't mean that it will be any easier than the first time around. In fact, it may be more difficult since you're more invested in your business and brand than you were when you first launched it.

1. Having a good reason.

You need to have a reason that makes sense from a business perspective. If you're redesigning your logo because you're bored, this might not be the best use of your resources. But if you've made a major change in your services, target audience, or the benefits you provide, a redesign may be justified.

If you don't have a solid reason to redesign your logo, reconsider whether a redesign is the right path to take.

2. Hiring a designer.

Finding a designer to create just the right logo for your company takes time, attention to detail and the patience to really look into the designer's expertise. You may be lucky enough to already have a designer that you work with. In that case you just have to make sure that they have the time and inclination to work on your project. If you don't have a designer, you can see my tips on hiring a designer to learn more about the topic.

3. Re-examining your Brand Definition.

If you're going to redesign your logo, you might as well dig deeper into your brand and make sure that it's as polished and complete as possible. Going back over your business's personality, service offerings, product plans, and differentiation will help make sure you're developing a logo that will help you connect with your best customers. Clearly define who your target audience is and what they want to see in a logo.

4. Redesigning the logo is a big investment.

If you're going to change your logo, you'll be investing time, thought and money into the redesign. Make sure that you have the bandwidth and budget to give the project the attention it deserves.

5. Trashing and revising all of your existing marketing materials.

Once your new logo is complete you'll have to recycle your business cards, letterhead, brochures and other printed materials—and pay to have the new ones printed. Then there's redesigning your website (and the editing and rewriting that you should do along with that). And don't forget about changing the digital design templates on your computer—your branded email footer, newsletter templates, Word letterheads, and Quickbooks invoices.

Go through your marketing pieces and just think about what it would take to re-create those. The writing, editing, design, coding, printing… Do you really want to redo all that work? And will the redesign of all of those materials pay off?

6. Making the transition make sense for your clients.

Your clients get attached to your logo. They identify with it as the face of your business. If you just change your logo without saying anything to your clients, it can make them feel disoriented and disenfranchised—like their feelings about your business don't matter. Changing the way your materials look can make clients wonder if your business has been bought out, or if you've raised your prices or changed your level of service.

If you do create a new logo, be sure to inform your current and past clients about the change and to explain the reasoning behind the redesign. This simple act can help you keep their trust and keep them onboard with your business through the transition.

Making sure that you're prepared to address these 6 steps in your logo redesign will ensure that a needed redesign goes smoothly—just like knocking over those dominos.