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Id Alert 1006 Method Branding


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Id Alert 1006 Method Branding

  1. 1. New Identity Alert June 2010
  2. 2. Among the brand identities featured in this issue Once that was approval was granted, the company the wordmark, and no circles. Yet other pages are Primerica, Cable & Wireless Communications, unveiled its new brand mark: the wordmark feature the wordmark and part of the circles used Yellow Pages (Canada), Everything Everywhere, surrounded by a swirl of multi-coloured circles. as a graphic element. Finally, some pages have CNO Inc., Australia Unlimited, Hong Kong, no brand identity marks at all and their sites listed and Astral. There are a couple of interesting points in all this. by country are still branded as Fortis. First, the deliberate step the company took in Update Sometimes, after a brand identity is unveiling its new name and brand identity. It’s not One gets the distinct impression they do not know featured in this newsletter, more information clear exactly what was gained by unveiling part what to do with their new brand identity. becomes available. Either the rationale for the of the new brand identity, but not the full mark. rebranding is explained further or more aspects of Why not just state what the new name will be and the branding are revealed. This is usually not leave the launch of the whole brand identity until remarked upon, since it is usually not remarkable. later? Or, on the other hand, show the full mark Ageas, however, is an interesting exception. right from the start? The last issue featured the new name and brand The other puzzling aspect is that they actually use identity for Fortis, a European casualty of the both the wordmark on its own, and the wordmark financial sector meltdown. The issue showed the surrounded by the circles. One gets the sense wordmark that was unveiled with the announce- they don’t really know what to do. Click through ment that the company would change its name to their web site. You will find some pages with the Ageas, pending shareholder approval in April. wordmark inside the circles. Other pages have NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 2 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  3. 3. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y A u s T R A L I A On May 14, the Australian Trade Comment When Toronto unveiled its Unlimited pineapples in Toronto. The Australia Unlimited Minister, Simon Crean, unveiled the country’s brand five years ago (see New Identity Alert, July mark does not have much to commend (though it new brand, Australia Unlimited. The objective of 2005), it was roundly criticized as vacuous, and is better than Toronto’s). Those are apparently the new brand, the minister stated, was to sell poorly executed. So now Australia has produced its boomerangs, though they look more like brackets, Australia to the world as a great place do business, own spin at being unlimited. Have they fared which speak to containment, not to Unlimited. not just as a holiday destination. The press release better? On the whole, no. One understands that the And then, what exactly does the white line through announcing the new brand stated that as part of kangaroo brand was a tourism-focused brand the right bracket signify? Branding is about differ- the branding process, eight concepts were tested in which did little to help trade, or economic develop- entiating yourself. Australia Unlimited fails because 14 countries (including Australia), with about 1,000 ment for Australia. But this new brand identity it does not create a unique brand; and worse, by interviews in each country. won’t help much either. The problems begin with being so ordinary, it demonstrates the limits of the basic idea of unlimited, which of course, is silly. this brand. Nothing is without limits. Imagine building a ski resort in Australia. This is as realistic as growing NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 3 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  4. 4. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y H o N g Ko N g A revitalized city brand – “a Comment This is unfortunate. Not so much Even after nine years, the original brand identity refreshed dragon icon” – was launched by Hong because it is that terrible (it isn’t), but because it appeared fresh and relevant, at least from this Kong at the end of March. The new brand identity is is an evolution of one of the best place brand side of the world. If there was a need to tinker, they said to represent five core values “that Hong Kong identities. It is, also, an evolution that is inferior to should have worked with the other elements people cherish and aspire to: Free, Enterprising, the original. The dragon, a wonderful metaphor around the dragon and logotype, upgrading how Excellence, Innovative and Quality Living.” The for that city, has been dramatically reduced in it is presented without touching the dragon original dragon brand identity was first launched favour of ribbons. The ribbons would have been and logotype. in May 2001. In addition to a new Brand Hong Kong fine as supporting graphic elements, but don’t tell web site, another site,, as compelling a story as the dragon does. has also been launched which invites the global audience to visit and learn about local people and The previous brand identity was applied in a listen to their stories. It also encourages Hong Kong similar fashion, with ribbons of colour as support- residents to post their own photographs. ing graphic elements, and was vibrant and lively. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 4 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  5. 5. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y C A B L E & W I R E L E ss Co M M u N I C AT I o N s Comment This is perplexing. Billed as a either. On the other hand, the most fascinating part The end of March saw the launch of the new brand “demerger” the company essentially retains its of the new brand identity is the various icons and identity for part of the troubled Cable & Wireless, old name (technically, it was previously Cable drawings on the web site. Looking like a Spirograph which has split into two (the other part is Cable & & Wireless International), and describes its new gone crazy, they are nonetheless quite inventive Wireless Worldwide, the fibre network and large symbol as “an evolution of the iconic Cable and arresting. From drawings of a hand, landscape, telecom systems supplier). Cable & Wireless & Wireless ‘blue globe’ logo, which has been in flower and profiles, to phone icons, these graphics Communications is a full-service telecommunica- existence as the Group identity since 1986.” Both are quite unique and add a dimension to the web tions business, operating in the Caribbean, companies are still Cable & Wireless (the other site not found elsewhere. Panama, Macau, Monaco and islands in the Indian opting for a Crate and Barrel look-alike wordmark). Ocean, South Atlantic and the English Channel. The new symbol for this half of Cable & Wireless is The company is based in London. also not quite ground-breaking, bearing a resem- blance to the Barclaycard symbol. The typographic style selected for the logotype does not work NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 5 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  6. 6. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y P R I M E R I C A More fallout from the financial to gain financial independence.” Primerica sells an upscale brand. It is firmly rooted as a “meat services meltdown of two years ago has resulted in term life insurance, annuities, mutual funds and and potatoes” brand identity, serving middle Citigroup disposing of its insurance subsidiary, other financial products, and also claim they insure income customers. This is further reinforced by Primerica, to a private equity company this past more than 4.3 million lives. the company’s web site, which features straightfor- April. As a result, Primerica recently launched its ward, simple images and a simple design with new brand identity. Headquartered in Duluth, Comment Strong, simple and red, white and blue. large, clean type. This is a company that knows Georgia, the company claims it is the largest What else could be expected for this insurance who it is, even if one of its executives got a bit over independent financial services marketing company company? The tight interlocking rings are hardly enthusiastic at the brand launch. in North America, with approximately 100,000 original (quick, how many other brands use this licensed sales representatives. Primerica identifies device, not including the Olympics and Audi?), its primary market as “middle income families by but are still apropos in this context. With the rings’ helping them make informed financial decisions black outline and the straightforward black logo- and providing them with the strategies and means type, the brand identity does not pretend to being NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 6 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  7. 7. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y C N o F I N A N C I A L g R o u P At their annual Comment For a financial services holding company, Still, it is not clear why they could not have simply meeting in May, shareholders approved changing the new brand identity is more appropriate than rebranded, remaining as Conseco. What is not the name of the company from Conseco, Inc. to the previous “stairway to heaven” symbol. It known is whether prior to being renamed, the CNO Financial Group, Inc. A holding company, it certainly is not as retail-focused as the marks for company was referred to as Conseco or as CNO, operates mainly through three insurance subsidiar- their operating subsidiaries. The new symbol, while their New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol. One ies: Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Colonial more “holding-company-like” is also both some- can only assume that outside of a small group of Penn Life Insurance Company and Washington what ordinary and a bit silly. Did they really have to institutional investors, most of their stakeholders National Insurance Company. Based in Carmel, place the letter O inside a lowercase N inside the referred to them as Conseco. Indiana, CNO describes itself as serving “working letter C? The overall effect is a symbol with ele- American families and seniors by helping them ments that are not quite balanced, with the outside protect against financial adversity and provide for blue strokes (the letter C) appearing thinner than a more secure retirement.” the inside areas. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 7 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  8. 8. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y Co R E Lo g I C Previously the information solu- Comment The press release credits Dutch artist being dynamic and is more inline with supporting tions group of The First American Corporation, this M.C. Escher for inspiration for the new symbol, the name. The company’s web site and collateral company began trading at the beginning of the and says it communicates the brand promise of material, with a series of angular shapes emulating month as CoreLogic. The company describes itself “Dynamic Insights.” Well at least they didn’t refer to the symbol, is well done. This just demonstrates, as “a leading provider of consumer, financial and thinking outside of the box. But this is a well as opposed to the CNO symbol on the previous property information, analytics and services to designed brand identity and an improvement over page, that it is possible to have a well designed business and government…and is a recognized the previous one. The symbol may really not symbol based on the letter C. leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit communicate dynamic insights, and it may not be reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determina- the most original concept, but it does work well tion, and geospatial analytics and services.” Based with the name. It does communicate logic, and the in Santa Ana, California, CoreLogic says it has over grey triangles and red diamond shape all sharing 10,000 employees globally with revenues of $2.0 the same point at the centre certainly also commu- billion in 2009. nicates core. Even the logotype has less to do with NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 8 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  9. 9. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y s A P I E N s This provider of insurance software Comment This is a good example of forgettable companies would present itself in a more sophisti- solutions launched its new brand identity last design. While certainly better that the previous cated and creative manner. This either did not occur month. This follows the recent acquisition of mark, it is not very good. What exactly is that to them, or if it did, they failed miserably. another insurance software developer. Sapiens swoosh on the letter A? What is it trying to commu- describes itself as “a leading global provider of nicate? It is also poorly done, beginning by overlap- business solutions for the insurance industry, ping the letter S and ending just past the right helping modernize business processes and en- diagonal stroke of the letter A. In the final analysis, abling insurance organizations to adapt quickly to all it communicates is simply a bad cliché, just like change.” Based in Rehovot, Israel (which is located the chess set photographs used on their web site. just south of Tel Aviv) and with offices in North One would have thought that a company creating Carolina, England and Japan, Sapiens serves its sophisticated software for large, global insurance customers in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 9 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  10. 10. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y Co L L I E R s I N T E R N AT I o N A L This global Comment This brand evolution follows on the positive step. (A square would have been more real estate company unveiled its refreshed brand heels of the new brand identity launched by a interesting, but then the mark would be encroach- identity this past April. Colliers International number of high profile break-away Collier offices ing into American Express’ look.) If anything can describes itself as the third largest commercial real (see Cassidy Turley, New Identity Alert, March be criticized about this evolution, it is the shape. estate firm and as “a global affiliation of indepen- 2010). This is a well done evolution of their previ- One wonders what other options they explored and dently owned commercial real estate firms.” ous brand identity mark. Even without the gradient, could have settled on. Certainly there are other Based in Seattle, Colliers claims it has 12,700 the blue area is lighter, and a bit more energetic. possibilities that would not have given the new employees in 294 offices in 61 countries, and that The ratio of blue to the yellow/blue/red stripes is mark the look of a label. The double-edged sword it manages 1.1 billion square feet, with revenues of now more dynamic and the rectangle’s round of rounded corners. $1.6 billion. It is a subsidiary of FirstService Corpo- corners give the mark some humanity. This more ration, whose FirstService Real Estate Advisors approachable look is principally communicated by (FirstService REA) was brought under the Colliers the upper and lowercase Colliers. The overall shape umbrella earlier this year. is not as tall as the previous mark, which is also a NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 10 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  11. 11. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y Y E L Lo W PAg E s Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Comment Not surprisingly, part of the impetus for symbol (even the hand’s grey is not a flat colour), launched its new brand identity this past March. the new brand identity was to remove the reference why resort to drawing the hand in a manner used Since publishing its first directory in 1908, the to a printed directory in the symbol. Increasingly, when coarse black and white printing was the company has become “Canada’s leading local directory searches are conducted online and on standard used for creating graphics? Also puzzling commercial search provider and largest directory mobile devices. The “phone book” (and telephone is the large yellow area over part of the symbol and publisher.” They publish Bell Canada’s and Telus’ booths) are increasingly anachronistic, soon to be logotype on the corporate web site. This is sloppy directories, as well as a number of other telephone relics of the past. The new brand identity is gener- and does not add anything to the brand identity. directories across Canada, and a number of online ally well done, with a contemporary feel. The directories which they claim attract over 7 million symbol’s button look has a friendly, approachable unique visitors per month. Based in Montreal, the feel. It’s good that they resisted keeping the company has 2,300 employees in Canada and 350 rectangle as the holding shape. One wonders, in the United States. though, why the hand has the break to delineate the middle finger? Given the complexity in the NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 11 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  12. 12. Br AND iDeNtities of the joiNt veNt ure PArtNers E v E R Y T H I N g E v E R Y W H E R E The name and customer base of 30 million people, and over nothing to do with operations and everything to do brand identity for British joint venture wireless 16,500 employees. with retail marketing. But yet, a good tag line or company, formed by Orange and T-Mobile, was slogan is not a brand name. What has been created unveiled mid-May. Everything Everywhere is the Comment With these two huge European telecom- is not a brand identity, just a slogan. It will be moniker for this joint venture by French and German munications companies combining their wireless interesting to see just how these two rivals play telecommunications companies. The press release services in Great Britain, one wonders if this is just together, and what they will concoct for the British states the company will maintain both the Orange the “first act,” with more to come. At a quick market. For their sake, hopefully, it will be better and T-Mobile brands, “with each brand having its glance, it doesn’t seem to make sense to merge that this effort. own (over 700) shops, marketing campaigns, operations, but leave the market-facing brands propositions and service centres. However, behind intact. One can’t help but wonder if in a year or so, the scenes, the two brands will be run by one the company will announce that one or both of the company, with one team and one vision…” The existing brands will be replaced (with something company will start operations on July 1, with a new?). They also chose a new name that has NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 12 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  13. 13. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y HAROLD FONDS GREENBERG HAROLD FUND GREENBERG A s T R A L This Canadian media company Comment The company wanted something less the end, they have a symbol that is fractured, launched its new brand identity late last month. corporate, that conveyed “knowledge, passion and somewhat hard to read and does not bring clarity to Astral describes itself as Canada’s “largest broad- imagination” as well as “human warmth and their message…something a broadcaster would caster of English- and French-language pay and emotion, within a defined and responsive structure think to be of at least some importance. specialty television services…largest radio broad- that is grounded and resilient.” These are lofty and, caster… and) one of Canada’s most dynamic and yes, reasonable objectives. These are also objec- innovative outdoor advertising companies.” They tives that have not been met. The idea is there, the also claim to operate more than 100 web sites. execution is nowhere to be found. One has to only Based in Montreal, Astral has over 2,800 employ- consider the MSN butterfly as a symbol (also made ees across Canada. up of several colours) that would convey what Astral wanted. They obviously could not copy MSN, but there are so many possibilities that would have been superior to the letter A symbol they have. In NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 13 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  14. 14. Pre vious Br AND iDeNtit y W I Po On April 26, the 40th anniversary of the Comment It is hard to believe that the previous intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, entry into force of the WIPO Convention and the brand identity was created only 40 years ago. literary or artistic fields. 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day, The new brand identity is easily a huge improve- this international organization unveiled its new ment and is also very good on its own merits. WIPO falls short, however, in the implementation brand identity. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Based on the WIPO headquarters building, the of its new brand identity. The web site, for example, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) symbol is described as representing the 7 elements is a crowded mess with the symbol unnecessarily is a specialized agency of the United Nations which of intellectual property (articulated in the WIPO jammed into the narrow white band on top of the was founded in 1967. It describes itself as “dedi- convention): artistic performances and broadcasts; site. It is a pity that this elegant and sophisticated cated to developing a balanced and accessible inventions in all fields of human endeavor; scien- symbol should be applied so shoddily. One would international intellectual property (IP) system, tific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks expect much more from an organization that should which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and and commercial names; protection against unfair be much more sensitive to design and contributes to economic development while safe- competition, and all other rights resulting from “artistic” aesthetics. guarding the public interest.” NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 14 June 2010 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  15. 15. P L E A s E Co N TAC T u s ABouT METHoD BRANDINg If you have any comments about the corporate A design firm with extensive experience, we brand identities featured in this issue, you can do work with a wide variety of clients including so on our blog: corporations, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, start-up companies and others. We work collaboratively with our clients, and with If you wish to alert us to new identities that have other branding professionals, to create compelling been just launched or are about to be launched, solutions. The brands and branded communica- please email us at the address below. tions (brochures, annual reports, etc.) we create endure and build value. Bringing together the We also welcome receiving the names and e-mail science and art of branding, our solutions are addresses of anyone you think would be interested engineered to elicit the desired responses from in receiving this newsletter. stakeholders, building maximum brand value for And if you have a branding challenge, we would our clients. of course be pleased to meet you and discuss how your brand can be effectively leveraged to its maximum potential. 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 NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities compiled from on-line PAGE 15 June 2010 compiled fromby Method Branding. by Method Branding. news sources on-line news sources