Id Alert 1003 Method Branding


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Id Alert 1003 Method Branding

  1. 1. New Identity Alert March 2010
  2. 2. NEW IDENTITY ALERT page 2 March 2010 Among the new brand identities featured are corporate or product brands. Imagine another Towers Watson, Ageas, Cassidy Turley, Expedia, shoe company called Nike, or a computer company Bausch + Lomb, Diversey, Mobilicity and for the called Apple. These companies (and their lawyers) city of Regina, Saskatchewan. As in past years, work hard to ensure this would never happen. this being the first New Identity Alert of the year (if a bit later than usual), this issue features the One wonders why Vancouver would wait until best and worst brand identities featured last year. after the Olympics to launch their brand identity. They obviously decided they couldn’t do it while There are at least 7 communities named the world’s attention was focussed on their British Burlington in North America, 9 called Columbus Columbia namesake. On the other hand, the and two cities called Vancouver. One of them launch certainly could have had more attention. recently hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Yet the Games did not come as a surprise last Winter Games. The other, a bit further south, month – Vancouver was selected to host the appears to be concerned that they were confused Games in 2003. One would have thought with their neighbour to the north. As a result, Vancouver, WA would have done this sooner. Vancouver, Washington’s tourism office has just launched a new brand identity that pointedly The Games were, at the very least from a highlights that they are located in the United Canadian perspective, exciting, fun to watch, States and that their city was settled before that and some would even say inspirational. From a other Vancouver. branding perspective, one can’t help but be a bit more cynical. The IOC is deeply concerned about One feels their pain. How do you differentiate any brands that appear during the Games. Every yourself, when you share the same regional inch of existing facilities was “papered” with the location, not to mention the same name? This Vancouver graphics to cover up any stray brands. is something that would never happen with The Canadian hockey team had to have new uniforms designed, because the Hockey Canada logo appeared on their shirts. Of course, the Nike swoosh appeared prominently on athletes’ garments. Skiers and snowboarders, in true Olympic tradition, removed their skis or boards and pointed their brands at the cameras at the end of their runs. Maybe future Games should award medals for sponsors and “official suppliers,” since at times it seemed the Games were meant more to celebrate them than the athletes who competed and won our hearts with their efforts. Cover image: The Regina coat of arms
  3. 3. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 3 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. B A u sc h + Lo m B This well-known eye care product brand introduced its new brand identity at the beginning of the year. Founded in 1853, Bausch + Lomb is headquartered in Rochester, NY and employs over 10,000 people worldwide. Its products include contact lenses and lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. OLD BR AND iDeNtit y Comment Why rebrand? Their old brand identity was just over five years old (see New Identity Alert, May 2004). The rationale for the rebrand, “strong momentum coming out of last year, as well as a number of planned new product launches and market initiatives over the coming months…” is hardly an indication of a significant change that would dictate the need for a new OLDeR BR AND iDeNtities brand identity. The other puzzling aspect of this rebranding initiative is why they would introduce the “B+L” initials. They rightly identify Bausch + Lomb as a well-known brand. Why dilute it by trying to move to initials? It’s not as if their name is either too long to pronounce, or is incongruent to their current brand (i.e., GE no longer being primarily focused on electrical products). And, after all these efforts to rebrand, the new brand identity is not a better mark than their previous brand identity. It is not bad, just one more question in an undefined, perplexing rebranding initiative.
  4. 4. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 4 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. D I v E R s E Y On March 1, JohnsonDiversey changed its name, as announced, following its acquisition by a private equity firm this past November. The Diversey name extends back to 1923, when it was founded. After it was acquired by Johnnson Wax in 2002 from Unilever, the company changed its name to JohnsonDiversey. Diversey claims it has sales of more than OLD BR AND iDeNtit y $3.0 billion in more than 175 countries and that it is a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions. It is headquartered in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and has over 10,000 employees. Comment Clearly an evolution over the previous brand identity, the new brand identity is not as successful as the previous one. Diversey has opted for a simplified, smaller version of the older “water lily,” that is flatter, without the finesse and without the former’s shimmer. Some of the petals of the symbol now appear, inexplicably, to be accents on the letters of the name. This certainly doesn’t help with the pronunciation of Diversey, which is clear enough. While there is nothing terribly wrong about the new logotype, it is clearly more generic looking. In the end, had they just removed the name Johnson from their previous mark, they would have been better off. The one good piece of news is that their new web site is well done.
  5. 5. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 5 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. E x p E D I A .co m This well-known online travel website updated their brand identity at the beginning of the year. describes itself as “the world’s leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel.” is an operating company of Expedia, Inc., and in addition to their US web site, Expedia also has 16 other interna- OLD BR AND iDeNtit y tional web sites, including Australia, Canada, India, Japan, France, Germany and the UK. Comment This evolution of their brand identity is reasonably well executed and contemporary. The symbol borrows the concept of an airplane and a blue globe and translates it into a more contemporary (if more corporate looking) icon. The logotype has also been updated, translating the curves on the vertical strokes of the letter p and d into angles. Apart from changing the colour to blue, the capital E and the lowercase letters of the name have a better balance in the new logotype. And yet, the total may be less than satisfying. Unlike the recent update of the Air Miles loyalty brandmark, which retained the romance of travel with its old airplane, Expedia. com has lost its charm with its corporate looking mark. The press release announcing the rebrand spoke of “superior value, ease and convenience” with Which brand mark, then, is best suited to communicate “travelers who book with can be confident that they got the right trip at a great price?” Viewed from this perspective, the new brand identity is best suited, even if it lacks the charm of the former.
  6. 6. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 6 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. m I N T E L This international market research firm launched its new brand identity last month. Founded in London in 1972, Mintel describes itself as “a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence… (providing) insight into key worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts client success.” Their other locations include Chicago, New York, OLD BR AND iDeNtit y Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo. Comment Their new tagline “Intelligence in time” is the best thing about this rebranding effort, accurately reflecting their claim that “Mintel’s market intelligence, combined with best-in-class service, enables clients to make the right decision at the right time.” They have largely kept to the same colour palette as their previous identity, adding purple which they say represents “inspiration and decisiveness” (another example of overblown press release prose). A speech bubble is hardly original – see the next page – so what happened to the firm’s inspiration and decisiveness? The new brand identity is not bad, just bland.
  7. 7. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 7 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. m o B I L I c I T Y Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (DAVE Wireless) announced last month that it will launch its mobile telephone service in Toronto this spring, under the Mobilicity brand name. Following the Canadian wireless spectrum auction, it is one of several new mobile services brands recently, or about to be, launched in Canada. Mobilicity will operate in 10 of the 13 OLD BR AND iDeNtit y largest markets including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, accounting for more than half of Canada’s population. Comment The new name is described as “incorporating the mobile carrier’s focus on simplicity for city-based customers.” It certainly anchors the new brand in the city, but is it simpler than Dave? One could argue that Dave has more urban attitude without having to say city. The new mark, while based on speech bubbles that are hardly original (see the previous page), is still well done. The colours are fresh and appealing, and the two overlapping speech bubbles suggest a conversation. One can observe that the overlap was carefully considered: if the overlap went too far to the left, mobil would be transformed to mob, and the overlap on the right correctly highlights the word city. As a piece of graphics, the Mobilicity mark is superior to Dave, but a well-crafted Dave brand identity would have resulted in a more original brand.
  8. 8. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 8 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. R E g I N A Mayor Pat Fiacco unveiled the brand identity last month during his annual State of the City address. Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan, in the Canadian prairies. Located in the southern portion of the province, with a population of about 190,000, Regina claims it has over 350,000 hand-planted trees. It was first incorporated as a town in 1883 and named OLD BR AND iDeNtit y the capital of the Northwest Territories. The press release announcing the new brand identity revealed that the research and development fees for this branding engagement were approximately $320,000. Comment This isn’t fair. Regina is, by most measures, a small town (when does a town become a city?) that claims nearly twice as many hand-planted trees as it has residents. Yet it has paid a significant amount of money to be rebranded. So the question is not whether its brand is up to the standard one would expect of major urban cities with millions of residents, but whether it has received its money’s worth? The answer is no. The new symbol is an unsuccessful attempt to be an infinity loop – to ie it to the tagline. It doesn’t work, and it’s too flat. Even bringing the diagonal blue line over the vertical orange would have been an improvement. It is telling that Regina is holding on to its “I love Regina” mark. Even though the new brand identity is intended to replace the Regina script and cityscape mark, this imitation of the “I Love NY” mark obviously resonates with Regina residents, and the new identity can’t compete with it.
  9. 9. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 9 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. I D E N T I v E g R o u p Completing the merger of Bluehill ID, Hirsch Electronics and SCM Microsystems, the new company launched their new name and brand identity at the beginning of the year. Identive describes itself as a “leading provider of products, services and solutions for the security, identification and RFID industries. Through its Group of companies, Identive serves OLD BR AND iDeNtities customers in diverse global markets spanning the identity management and access control value chains.” With headquarters in Santa Ana, California and St. Gallen, Switzerland, the company has operations in Europe, United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Japan and India. Comment This is an appropriate name and interesting brand signature. The name reflects their area of expertise, confirming and managing peoples’ identities and determining access based on that information. One can surmise (no explana- tion was provided in the press release announcing the new brand identity) that the symbol is meant to represent a scanner’s motion. This again would make sense for this company. Not clear is why the symbol is beige. Is this meant to represent the colour of skin? That would be a strange choice, leaving aside demographic issues that arise from such a colour rationale. The other interesting decision Identive has taken is to retain the legacy corporate brands as product/service brands. Without a real knowledge of this specialized marketplace and the equities in these brand, it is impossible to render an opinion if this was the correct decision.
  10. 10. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 10 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. c A ss I DY T u R L E Y This new commercial real estate brand was officially launched at the beginning of the month. Cassidy Turley claims it is “one of the largest commercial real estate services providers in the U.S., with 420 million square feet of managed space in 57 locations and $16 billion in completed transactions for 2008.” Most of the offices are former Colliers operations in cities FORmeR BR AND iDeNtit y such as Washington, DC, New York City, Baltimore, Charlotte and Raleigh. Cassidy Turley further states that it has over 360 shareholders through- out their network across the country. Comment This an example that demonstrates that good brand identities need not be complex, or visually ornate. Using two names from some of the legacy names (from Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers [Washington, DC] and Colliers Turley Martin Tucker [St. Louis]), the wordmark is simple and straight- forward. The forward slash, which the press release refers to as “the Edge graphic,” is meant to symbolize the edge the company provides its customers by “combining (their) deep connections to (their) clients, community and industry with the customized solutions (they) provide.” Sure, but it works visually. By aligning the letter y at the end of both names, it is also a smart and elegant solution. The black and green give the mark a modern, fresh appearance. They have also extended “the Edge” in the design of the website, collateral and advertising – smartly unifying all the Cassidy Turley communications.
  11. 11. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 11 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. Av I AT N E T W o R k s This provider of IP network technology, previously known as Harris Stratex Networks, Inc., unveiled its new brand identity last month. Aviat Networks claims it is “the wireless expert in advanced IP network migration, building the foundation for the 4G/LTE broadband future, (offering) best-of-breed transformational wireless solutions, including LTE-ready microwave OLD BR AND iDeNtit y backhaul, WiMAX access and a complete portfolio of essential service options that enable wireless public and private telecommunications operators to deliver advanced data, voice, video and mobility services around the world.” With com- pany headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina, and international headquarters in Singapore, Aviat lists offices on all continents around the world. It has 1,500 employees serving 260 mobile networks around the world. Comment No explanation (from yet again another company) for what the new name and symbol are meant to represent. Is the name derived from Via, which means way? Explanations are required to properly frame the brand and “seed it” with the intended attributes and meaning. That stated, this is a well designed symbol and logotype. One can assume that the arcs are meant to represent mobile networks and the flow of communications. The logotype is appropriately contemporary and approachable with its upper and lowercase typography. One wonders, though, whether the word Networks was needed. It is currently so small and light, one wonders why include it?
  12. 12. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 12 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. A g E A s Fortis announced om March 10 that pending shareholder approval in April, it will become “ageas.” With head offices in Brussels and Utrecht, in the Netherlands, Fortis no longer describes itself as a banking and insurance group, but as a leader in the insurance market. It claims to be “the undisputed leader of the Belgian market for Individual Life and Employee Benefits”, OLD BR AND iDeNtit y as well as a leader in automobile insurance in Great Britain, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine. It also has operations in Italy, Portugal, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand. Fortis currently employs over 10,000 people. Comment Another casualty of the financial services meltdown, Fortis is trying to right itself – with mixed results. They describe the name as deriving from the Latin word agere, which means “action, drive, and a conviction to forge ahead.” They also break the name down letter by letter ascribing meaning to them, which is a stretch. The new wordmark is understated, which was clearly the company’s intention. The lowercase treatment is further sign of a company humbled, “ We know our business, but we don’t want to force our opinions on anyone…” The problem is that they confuse a wordmark with how the name should appear in text. Fortis is capitalized as a logotype, and appears in upper and lowercase in text. The same logic should apply to their new name. Just because the wordmark is ageas, does not mean that it should not appear as Ageas in text.
  13. 13. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 13 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. To W E R s WAT s o N With the completion of their merger, this HR company launched its new brand identity at the beginning of the year. Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt are now Towers Watson. The company describes itself as “a leading global professional services company that helps organi- zations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management.” With its OLD BR AND iDeNtities headquarters in New York City, Towers Watson states it has over 14,000 employees worldwide. Comment This is an interesting symbol, resembling a person’s signature. This is reinforced by the Welcome heading on their web site and corporate brochure, appearing as a handwritten word. Given that their business is human resources consulting, this handwritten signature is quite appropriate. One wonders about the selection of colour. It is worth noting that they decided not to use blue, which was a legacy colour in both the Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt brand signatures (and according to some estimates, 70% of all corporate marks). They have selected a warm, (and more distinctive) orange-red instead, which is certainly friendlier than blue. Blue, however, would have been more in keeping with the idea of the handwritten signature, as though it were the blue ink of a pen. One also has to welcome the company’s decision to use only the first names in the firms’ legacy names. While most companies, faced with a merger have also only kept one word from each company name, some have tried to retain all words, sometimes combin- ing them, as in Towersperrin Watsonwyatt. Good for them that they resisted doing such a thing.
  14. 14. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 14 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. T h E B E sT o f 2 0 0 9 With the global recession in full force, there seemed (from a totally unscien- tific, unmeasured perspective) to be fewer brand identities launched last year. As a result –partially – there were fewer truly great brand identities launched. The good ones seemed to be simpler designs. Orange and yellow tones are still popular colours of choice for brand identities (though Usiminas does use several other primary colours for their symbol). The recession is also proving to be the catalyst for a number of new brand identi- ties in the financial sector, and resulted in one of the best brand identities of the past year. Chartis was born from the ruins of AIG, the insur- ance behemoth. A simple compass concept incorporated into the letter C was a smart solution that is “well married” to the company’s new name. Sometimes, a simple straightforward approach is required, and FICO, the credit rating firm, has an appropriately strong, simple wordmark. On the other hand Symbian, the Open Source software organization, opted for a brand identity that is one of the most humourous, warmest brand identities. Usiminas, the Brazilian steel company, has a strong symbol – the letter U that represents the bucket that holds molten steel. The Stone River symbol is another symbol that is “well married” to the name of this software company.
  15. 15. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 15 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. T h E W o R s T o f 2 0 0 9 For the first time in reviewing the past year’s worst brand identities, a company has “earned” two mentions. Kraft earns a special place for launching one of the worst brand identities in recent memory (the top mark with the red swoosh), and then, seemingly recog- nizing the mistake, changed it with a variation that is just as bad. This is truly surprising from such a brand-savvy company. Even it were never noted for the quality of the design of their brands, this is truly a revelation of how large companies can badly brand themselves. In fact, the other exam- ples of the worst of the year, as in past years, come from large corporations. Pepsi rebranded, changing their red, white and blue ball into what is supposed to be a smile. (They were also pilloried for an over-the-top rationale document that made the rounds of online branding blogs.) Statoil, while well rendered, has a strange look for an international energy company. As was previously noted, it would have been more appropriate for a line of hair products. And Kraft is now in a league of its own when it comes to bad brand identities. They should simply revert back to the familiar Kraft mark on their packaging. Intact is the inexplicable mark for what used to be ING Insurance in Canada.
  16. 16. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand page 16 identities compiled from on-line news sources March 2010 by Method Branding. Please contact us if you have any comments about ABouT mEThoD BRANDINg the corporate brand identities featured in this A design firm with extensive experience, we issue, or if you wish to alert us to new identities work with a wide variety of clients including that have been just launched or are about to be corporations, government agencies, not-for-profit launched. We also welcome receiving the names organizations, start-up companies and others. and e-mail addresses of anyone you think would be interested in receiving this newsletter. We work collaboratively with other communication agencies and firms, and collaboratively with our And if you have a branding challenge, we would clients, to create compelling solutions. The brands of course be pleased to meet you and discuss how and branded communications (brochures, annual your brand can be effectively leveraged to its reports, etc.) we create endure and build value. maximum potential. Bringing together the science and art of branding, our solutions are engineered to elicit the desired responses from stakeholders, building maximum brand value for our clients. Philip Unger President and Creative Director 366 Adelaide Street W. Suite 207 Toronto, Ontario Canada M5V 1R9 416.597.1114 tel 416.596.0807 fax Thank you to Jim Hynes for his proofreading Note: The brand identities and trademarks in this and wise counsel. document are the property of their respective owners. They are used here solely for information purposes. © Method Branding, 2010