It is too easy to pick on a new logo. Everyone has a subjective opinion that is largely reactionary and often knee-jerk in condemnation. Objective opinions are dry and boring…outside of graphic designers not many people care about precise kerning, bevels and pantones. Having contributed to new logos, or more dangerously updates of existing ones, I have been at the epicentre of criticism.
The socialization and acceptance of logos take time. They are not an overnight affair. One is highly successful if 51% of the people who see a new logo actually like it at the outset. Time must be given so the logo is imbued with meaning and can be associated with tangible results in the business. Branding is a long-term strategic game not a press release announcing a new look.
So instead of simply attacking the logo design let me share my opinion regarding the whole Yahoo! program behind it. This is what worked and didn’t work. Read more
Poor Ernst & Young. They shortened their name to EY, released a new look, and provided some really weak rationale for the change. Then the branding and design world ripped into their new logo. Now the Internet is replete with news stories such as “Ernst & Young accidentally rebrands itself as porn” and “Ernst & Young Rebranding Draws Comparisons To ‘Sexy Boys’ Publication EY! Megateen”. Such attention will only serve to make future efforts extremely conservative.
Professional services branding whether it be law firms, consultancies, or accountancies is already incredibly risk averse. This rebranding help ensure the partnerships at organizations such as these wring the creative fire out of any ideas advanced from their marketing teams and agencies. Read more
Losing $67 million on a massive recall of one of your signature products is serious business. More sheer than normal products, dye leaking from some of the brightly colored pieces and other quality issues are undeniably serious.
So Lululemon Athletica Inc. has responded very seriously. Chief product officer Sheree Waterson has been let go. The company apologized to customers and investors. It changed its manufacturing and quality control processes.
In short, it responded like it’s Tylenol or Toyota.
But it is not. Lululemon is a yoga lifestyle brand. Inherent in that is some degree of brevity and lightheartedness. I understand that its mission is tied to health and wellness and that it is a significant business, but let’s face it, it’s not a pharmaceutical company. Read more
RIM, Reinvention & Canadian Pride
Jeff joined the national CBC Radio program The Current with host Anna Maria Tremonte and fellow guest Tamsin McMahon, an Associate Editor at Macleans Magazine to discuss the Blackberry Brand.
Hear the interview and checkout all the coverage here…CBC/Blackberry.
Jeff thanks the CBC, Anna Maria, Idella, Vanessa, Jessica, and Tamsin for the great experience. And best of luck to Blackberry in what will be one of the more fascinating business and brand stories of the year.
Jeff comments on how brands respond to a disaster in USA Today…
Businesses Step Up to Aid Victims of Superstorm Sandy
by Laura Petrecca
November 3. 2012 – Duracell’s “Power Forward” centers give Hurricane Sandy’s electricity-less victims the chance to charge phones, as well as to grab free batteries for flashlights.
Anheuser-Busch switched a line at its Cartersville, Ga., brewery from beer to potable water to produce more than a million cans of emergency drinking water for those in need.
Lakeside Fitness Club in Oakland, N.J., offered everyone in the community warm showers, hot coffee and the ability to get some stress relief with a workout. Read more
The following article comes from The Smithsonian. It mentions the slogan of Chile, Allways Surprising, work I was happy to lead while at Interbrand. I remain proud to have coined the slogan for a truly diverse and surprising country. It was a tremendous project originally meant only for Chilean exports but was soon purloined by other government departments.
I appreciate the tone and content of the article … any place branding is received with great scepticism and jadedness. You are lucky to please 20% of constituents with anything that is developed. It takes a commitment to reinforce the branding for years as there is never a home run in such efforts. Here is the article. Read more
The average American supermarket now carries 48,750 items, according to the Food Marketing Institute, more than five times the number in 1975. Britain’s Tesco stocks 91 different shampoos, 93 varieties of toothpaste and 115 of household cleaner.
In addition to the range of choice in even the most basic brand categories, consumers receive over 5,000 media messages a day containing over 100,564 words. So in my opinion, the most important metric in the next ten years will be how many messages consumers choose NOT to see on a daily basis.
We are creating consumers with such thick skins and blinders that messages bounce off them – we are training them to ignore and disengage which is exactly the opposite of our objective.
In response to choice, many brand owners are now taking steps to rationalize their brand portfolios to simplify and reduce cannibalization. According to Sheena Iyengar in “The Art of Choosing”, Procter & Gamble thinned its range of Head & Shoulders shampoos from 26 to 15, and sales increased by 10%.
Regarding communications clutter, Canadian Marshall McLuhan presciently stated in the 1960’s, “One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with.”
In the next ten years, we will see cycles of brand proliferation and rationalization with corresponding communication cycles. So the brands that simplify people’s lives and speak honestly will stand a better chance of success than those who do not credit the growing power of the consumer, the stresses they are encountering, and how that will impact their choices.
Leading brands have a crystal clear understanding of how they interact with customers. The desired experience is planned and anticipated as much as possible. But perhaps their most admirable quality is the brand’s ability to learn from each customer interaction and adjust accordingly. One segment that does this well is luxury. Luxury brands are premised on offering high symbolic value to a select segment that responds to status, exclusivity, and perceived quality far more than price.
Luxury brands have long employed the notion of the Customer Journey enjoying a more longitudinal and continuous view of their experiential touch points. And, of course, they inherently leverage Word-of-Mouth (WOM) to build the cache associated with precious and limited goods. Read more
The marketing world has finally discovered that honest and valuable content makes a difference in interacting with consumers. Not surprisingly, marketers had to name and define this activity. It is called “Content Marketing” and definitions abound but it is meant to encompass all marketing formats involving the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumers.
It begs me to ask the question…is there any non-content marketing?
Beyond my jadedness, the intent is to provide high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers to drive brand awareness, consideration, and purchase. Content Marketing can take many forms such as custom magazines, print or online newsletters, digital content, websites or microsites, white papers, webcasts and webinars, podcasts, roadshows, roundtables, interactive online, e-mail, and events. Read more