Pasquale Cardinale

Small Changes, Big Differences

Robinson+Cole began as a well respected, regional law firm nearly a century ago. Today, it’s a national firm with a strong reputation for providing innovative service to its clients across many industries and disciplines.

The firm needed a brand that reflected its current state and its vision for the future. And that’s how this became a story about a plus sign: a simple detail that made a big difference.

When Robinson+Cole was founded 160 years ago, its logo was made with a hand-drawn ampersand and serif typeface. The ampersand reflected the partnership between the two first partners.

But as the firm grew, its brand needed to evolve with it.

When working on their brand, we focused on the fact that Robinson+Cole delivers exceptional value to its clients by innovating through interconnection: organizing client-centered teams of lawyers, business people and industry advocates and then connecting those teams with the firm’s superior resources. Each team focuses on continuously improving every process and client interaction to ensure that the right expertise is always provided at the right time.

As we rewrote the firm’s brand story, we found that the Robinson+Cole logo wasn’t working any more. The hand drawn ampersand didn’t reflect the modernity of the law firm, and its vision for the future.

We introduced the plus sign as a subtle way to modernize the logo and symbolized the key value of the firm; making connections.  In this video, Brian Smith, Robinson+Cole’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, talks about how the plus sign became part of the firm’s evolution. 

Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to brands.

So how do you know when to make a change and how big of a shift you should make? It comes down to knowing your brand audience—your internal leadership, your employees and, of course, your customers.

Not everyone gets this right, and when you don’t it can cost a pretty penny and tarnish your brand reputation.

When you’re thinking about how to evolve your brand, start thinking about making small changes first. Here are some areas to think about.


To signify a change in your company’s direction, reinvestigate your name. Sometimes making a slight tweak can dramatically affect how your audience perceives your brand and can allow you to reach out to new audiences.

Apple has moved past just creating computers so they decided to drop the “Computers” from their company name. Now no longer “Apple Computers,” Apple is better able to make good on their mission of developing products that enhance all user interaction with technology.


Consider the excess in your brand. What’s holding your brand back from its potential? Look at your logo, your identity, your website, and every touch-point that reaches your audience. Shedding some of that excess can help open up the possibilities for growth.

Hotwire took a look at their logo and found that removing the airplane from the red dot moved them past just an airline ticket reservation tool and allowed them to compete in the expanding online travel industry.


There are hundreds of thousands of fonts out there. So if yours is not quite right anymore, there are alternatives. And a slight change might be all you need.

Many well established tech companies use simple typeset logos and over the years they’ve slightly tweaked the font to keep them current and fresh. As an example, Google evolved their logo with cleaner and more modern typography.

Small changes allow you to keep one step ahead of your audience in a meaningful way. They can allow you to grow and reach new potential. Every brand is unique and understanding your organization’s identity and your audience, you can make smart, small changes that make big results.

Your brand’s most important evolution could come in the smallest, simplest solution.