Id Alert Method Branding 1101


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New Identity Alert, January 2011

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Id Alert Method Branding 1101

  1. 1. New Identity AlertJanuary 2011
  2. 2. Among the brand identities featured in this issue Update The review of the Toronto 2015 Pan Amare Belk, FAO Schwarz, Symantec, Airtel, Solutia, Games in the past issue of New Identity AlertWhirlpool, Starbucks, GM Financial and the Rio incorrectly stated that soccer (or football) would2016 Olympic Games. The year has certainly not be one of the sports played at the Games.started with some high profile new brands, most It will, in fact, be one of the 48 sports played atnotably the Starbucks rebranding announcement the Games.and the Rio Games emblem. It will be interestingto see whether this year will a busy and noteworthy 2 0 1 1 This year, in lieu of gifts, on behalf ofone with the introduction of many and hopefully our clients, friends and associates, Methodexciting new brand identities. Branding has made a donation to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank. Wishing everyone a happy and fulfilling 2011. Photogr aPhs: Michael Kohn, MichaelKohn.coMNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 2January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  3. 3. Pre vious logo 1971 1987 1992 2011S TA R b u c kS Timed to its 40th anniversary, Comment While the words Starbucks Coffee will completely. One hint is found on the Schultz videoStarbucks announced at the beginning of this no longer be part of the logo, this is not a big deal. posted on the Starbuck’s web site. It features amonth that it was updating its brand identity. From The company has emphasized that coffee remains vertical Starbucks logotype appearing next toits first location at Pike Place Market in Seattle, at the core of its products but that the “new brand the Siren.Starbucks now claims it has more than 16,000 identity will give us the freedom and flexibility…” tolocations in over 50 countries, with about 142,000 expand and sell other products. While only the That this minor change to the Starbucks brandemployees worldwide. In comments posted on the coffee cup has been unveiled so far, it appears this identity would attract so much comment is aStarbucks web site, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is a well done brand identity. The refinements to testament to the strength of this brand. Or, tohinted “…there will be much more to come” this the Siren are slight, but deftly done. Much has paraphrase, a tempest in a paper coffee cup.March as the company celebrates its anniversary. been made of the fact that the name is no longer on the coffee cup, but the cup is with consumers after they have made their purchase. It also appears as though the Starbucks name will not disappearNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 3January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  4. 4. Pre vious logoFA O Sc h WA R z In time for the pre-Christmas Comments This is truly an iconic brand that is the large floor piano in Big, to the iconic Nutcrackershopping spree, this iconic brand introduced a new lost. The flagship store on Fifth Avenue is still solider – they still are the doormen at the store,brand identity this fall. FAO Schwarz is nearly 150 drawing visitors, but in many ways is now over- and have their pictures taken with tourists every-years old, and its store on Fifth Avenue in New York shadowed by the Apple Store whose entrance is in day – it is puzzling that the company would chooseCity is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, the plaza in front. This is the store of the present such a sterile new brand identity.drawing millions of visitors each year. Following (and future), while FAO Schwarz in the backgroundseveral difficult years, including bankruptcy protec- is now the store of yesterday, a relic of the past. FAO.comtion, FAO Schwarz is now part of Toys“R’’Us, which The new brand identity does not do much to createwill include FAO Schwarz boutiques in all its a “relevant” brand for today. The jester symbol isU.S. stores. somehow devoid of personality. Just compare it to Starbuck’s Siren and the coldness of the jester is glaring. Considering how much rich visual history is attached to this brand, from Tom Hank’s playing onNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 4January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  5. 5. Pre vious logoM I L L E R T h O M S O N This Canadian law firm Comment The previous logo, with its generic, Law firms need at least some semblance oflaunched its new brand identity this past “no-nonsense” look was considerably superior to gravitas, though wit can also work if executedNovember. Miller Thomson has more than 450 the new logo and brand identity. This attempt to properly. The only thing that Miller Thomsonlawyers in their 9 offices across the country. create the plus sign out of the I from Miller and the demonstrated in selecting this new logo is poorThe firm stated the objective for rebranding as T from Thomson may not be a bad idea, but its judgement. And poor judgement in a law firm is“reaffirming Miller Thomson’s progressive, no- execution is hideous. It is truly amateurish and this not an oft sought-after quality.nonsense approach to the practices of business reflects poorly on the and litigation.” millerthomson.comNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 5January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  6. 6. Bid logoR I O 2 0 1 6 The emblem for the 2016 Olympic Comments Finally, an emblem for an Olympic While the emblem for the Rio Games may not beGames in Rio de Janeiro was unveiled during the Game that is well done. Said to symbolize both the best logo ever designed, and one can findCopacabana Beach New Year’s Eve celebrations in people coming together and Rio’s iconic Sugar Loaf, shortcomings in its execution, it is neverthelessfront of two million people. The emblem was this emblem is warm and positive. well done as well as being accessible to a widecreated by a Rio design firm, selected from eight audience. For an event that will probably have thefinalists, drawn from a process that apparently It is a welcome change from a series of emblems for largest global audience ever, having an embleminitially involved 130 firms. The Games will be major sporting events, the Winter and Summer that most people find appealing is not a bad thing.held from August 5 to 21, 2016. Olympics included, that were poor testaments to the state of brand design around the world. The worst culprit, as has been mentioned before, is the emblem for the London 2012 Games.NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 6January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  7. 7. Pre vious logob E L k This Charlotte, North Carolina-based Comment The new Belk brand identity appears JCPenney, not to mention Neiman Marcus, are allcompany launched its new brand identity this past anchored on three attributes: modern, southern based in the South, it is not clear what Belk does tofall. Belk describes itself as “the nation’s largest and style. It also appears to be none of these. live up to its Southern claims. It is not Macy’s orprivately owned mainline department store.” While it is an improvement over its past logo, the Bloomingdale, but what makes it Southern, beyondFounded in 1888, the company has 305 stores new one does not look modern, but more like a where it is based?located in 16 Southern states. Belk stated that 1980s brand identity. It is, from a style standpoint,about $70 million will be spent over the next year as stylish as JCPenney, which one assumes is belk.comfor corporate branding and marketing, including their competition. The brand’s style is very much$25 million for the installation of new logo signs in targeting the lower, mainstream market. This is theits stores. The rebranding, the first since 1967, is crowded marketplace dominated by Walmart,said to project the company’s restated mission JCPenney and other retailers. Belk also tries to hang“to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no its hat on its Southern roots. It is unclear how theone else…” brand manifests that. Given that Walmart andNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 7January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  8. 8. Pre vious logo Pixel-Perfec t coPyS Y M A N T E c Having bought VeriSign’s identity Comment This new brand identity, while profes- It often makes sense to build a brand’s equity byand authentication business, Symantec launched sionally executed, raises some questions. Was leveraging existing or legacy brand equities whenits new brand identity this past fall. Based in Symantec, not an unknown brand (with other a company has been acquired. VeriSign has notMountain View, California, Symantec claims it is well-known brands in its portfolio, such as Norton), disappeared, only part of its business has been“a global leader in providing security, storage and so damaged that it had to borrow the check mark sold to Symantec. Linking its brand to VeriSign’ssystems management solutions to help consumers from the VeriSign wordmark to establish its cred- this way, sends one clear message aboutand organizations secure and manage their ibility? Was it necessary to borrow the exact check Symantec: It didn’t think its own brand had muchinformation-driven world.” The new logo was mark from VeriSign, right down to the identical value in the digital marketplace.described as symbolizing “Symantec’s focus on pixels (as shown above)? What will happen toenabling confidence.” Symantec, if VeriSign stumbles along the way? How would that affect the Symantec brand?NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 8January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  9. 9. Pre vious logoA I RT E L Part of the Indian conglomerate Bharti, Comment It is not clear what the new symbol recognized symbolism that would lead one toAirtel launched its new brand identity in November. represents, but it somehow works. The new quickly imbue any meaning into it. Still, despiteThe company describes itself as one of the world’s brand identity is certainly an improvement over any of this confusion, one can’t help think thisleading telecommunications companies with the previous one. It has energy, youth and, with its new brand identity will ultimately be successfuloperations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. lowercase logotype, is also friendly. The energy of and help grow this already large telecommunica-They claim to have over 200 million customers the new symbol can also be seen on the company’s tions brand.across their operations, growing from 50 million web site, where sections of the new symbol arecustomers in October 2007 and 100 million in May used as graphic elements. airtel.in2009. Airtel offers mobile voice & data services,fixed line, high-speed broadband, and services for The symbol, however effective it may be, is aenterprises, as well as national and international mystery. Perhaps because the shape suggests along distance services to carriers. letterform – is it a D? – or is it maybe an ear? – the symbol lacks either the total abstraction orNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 9January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  10. 10. Pre vious logoD O u b L E T R E E This past fall, Hilton introduced Comment “A final group of logo designs were symbol, a brown serif D and a tree. Maybe this wasa new brand identity for one of its hotel brands. then selected for consumer testing by select focus the best of the different concepts developed. MoreNow called DoubleTree by Hilton, the brand has groups representing cultures around the world. likely, it was the most ordinary and therefore theover 240 hotels around the world. Hilton describes Consumer feedback drove selection of the final one most likely to be selected by consumers.itself as “the leading global hospitality company,” logo…” These comments from the press release Consumer testing has its place as an important toolwith more than 3,600 hotels in 82 countries. announcing the new brand identity deliver some for brand management. It is, however, not anAmong its other brands are Waldorf Astoria Hotels insights into the Hilton management style. It is alternative to executive decision-making. This is& Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels fairly common practice for companies to conduct especially true with the introduction of new brand& Resorts, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden some consumer testing before introducing a new identities, where past case histories demonstrateInn, and Hampton Hotels. The new brand identity product or service to consumers. The key here is the ineffectiveness of judging a logo’s worth.will start being used during the first half of that consumer testing “drove” the decision.this year. Management abdicated it own judgement in the face of market surveys. The result is a pedestrian hiltonworldwide.comNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 10January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  11. 11. Pre vious logoG M F I N A N c I A L With the completion of its Comment GM sold off GMAC and then had to buy Clearly, the decision was made that red was tooacquisition, General Motors announced AmeriCredit AmeriCredit to fill that function (though it is appar- far afield for a GM brand, hence the blue and to be renamed General Motors Financial ently interested in reacquiring part of GMAC, now The question, of course, is why did they notCompany, Inc. GM Financial provides auto finance branded as Ally). The new GM Financial logo is an closely align GM Financial to General Motors? Thethrough auto dealers. Founded in 1992 and with its improvement over the AmeriCredit mark, but just. It real potential for this brand is how much theyhead office in Fort Worth, Texas, the company has appears as though they decided that GM Financial can leverage off the relationships consumers (andabout 3,000 employees in Canada and the US with would not be linked to GM, other than by the name, others) have with the car maker. To distance theapproximately 800,000 customers and $9 billion in but that somehow there was worthwhile brand brand from that relationship, especially givenauto receivables. equity in the AmeriCredit logo. The new symbol the decision to name it GM Financial, seems borrows the diagonal lines from the old AmeriCredit strangely silly. logo and the typestyle of the GM Financial logotype is a lighter version of AmeriCredit’s. gm.comNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 11January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  12. 12. Pre vious logoS O L u T I A This specialty chemicals and Comment This is not a bad brand identity, but it is been much stronger had it not been skewed, atperformance materials company introduced its one that is not quite right either. The sun-like least not the logotype. The tension or contrastnew brand identity this past November. With symbol is fine, with its alternating green and blue between the logotype – had it not been italicizedheadquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, Solutia has lines suggesting the films the company makes that – and the symbol – had it been skewed even moreabout 3,400 employees in more than 50 worldwide are laminated to glass. The logotype is also okay, – would have resulted in a much more compellinglocations. The company produces a variety of with its sturdy, modernistic look. The problem is logo and a better brand identity.products, including films for glass lamination for that it appears as though the whole logo hasautomotive and architectural applications, for solar been italicized, but just slightly. The symbol and solutia.comand electronic technologies and products for logotype are slightly skewed to the right, but notaviation hydraulic fluids. Its new global brand enough to really be italicized and have that forwardidentity was said to be built on the pillars of motion. The result suggests more timidity orIngenuity, Productivity and Performance. hesitation, as though they were not sure whether to move forward or not. The logo, in fact, would haveNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 12January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  13. 13. Pre vious logoW h I R L p O O L As the company began its 100th Comment Why bother is the question that comes to them into their second centenary? A truly newanniversary celebrations, it unveiled a new updated mind when reviewing the update of this brand brand identity could still have maintained thebrand identity. Based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, identity. Sure the type is cleaner with its new sans equity of the old brand identity, while still creatingWhirlpool describes itself as “the world’s leading serif style, and the whirlpool graphic over the W something that would have signalled this is themanufacturer and marketer of major home has also been simplified and is clearer, as well as start of a new chapter of the company. Instead, theyappliances, with annual sales of approximately that orbiting sphere graphic. The problem with the are clinging to the past. If in the coming years, it$17 billion in 2009, 67,000 employees, and 67 old logo (no matter how well known) was that it had finds itself overtaken by European and Asianmanufacturing and technology research centers one icon too many. With those two conflicting competitors, this may be looked back upon as aaround the world.” The company markets graphic elements, it was a bad logo. Whirlpool has major missed opportunity.Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Brastemp, just updated a bad logo. It now has an updated badAmana, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand logo. Did the Company not have the courage, on its whirlpoolcorp.comnames to consumers in nearly every country around 100th anniversary, to introduce a truly new brandthe world. identity, one they could have trumpeted will carryNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 13January 2011 compiled from on-line news sources by Method Branding.
  14. 14. Much has been written about Gap’s introduction of, and subsequent retreat from, its new brand iden- tity. The final words of this saga should be those spoken by Don Keough, Coca-Cola’s Chief Operat- ing Officer in 1985. Twenty-six years ago, facing stiff competition from Pepsi, Coca-Cola had intro- duced New Coke, a reformulation of their iconic beverage. Despite months of development and extensive consumer testing, New Coke was met with loud protests. At one point, over 8,000 com- plaints a day were logged by Coke’s consumer hotb R A N D I N G h I G h L I G h T S O F 2 0 1 0 This past line, according to the book For God, Country and On July 10, 1985, at the press conference whereyear was not an exceptional one for new brand Coca-Cola, by Mark Pendergrast. Coke announced its retreat, Keough was quoted asidentities, except of course for one infamous case. stating, “Some critics will say Coca-Cola made a Faced with a non-ending barrage of protests andOf the new brand identities that were reviewed in marketing mistake. Some cynics will say that we negative press, Coca-Cola decided to retreat andNew Identity Alert, bpost, the YMCA and Towers planned the whole thing. The truth is we are not bring back Coke’s old formulation as Coke Classic.Watson stand out as the best of the past year. They that dumb and we are not that smart.” Feel free to This was huge news, with television programsmay not be “perfect” with nothing to quibble about, replace references to Coca-Cola with Gap. interrupted with the news. “Virtually every newspa-but these three still stand out from the many per in the country (the United States) carried a front bpost.beordinary and less than ordinary brand identities page story on Coke Classic, bumping reports on ymca.netlaunched last year. President Reagan’s cancer operation out of the spotlight,” writes Pendergrast. gap.comNEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities PAGE 14January 2011 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 bRANDINGIf you have any comments about the corporate A design firm with extensive experience, webrand identities featured in this issue, or if you work with a wide variety of clients includingwish to alert us to new identities that have been corporations, government agencies, not-for-profitjust launched or are about to be launched. organizations, start-up companies and others.We also welcome receiving the names and e-mail We work collaboratively with our clients, and withaddresses of anyone you think would be interested other design and branding firms, to create compel-in receiving this newsletter. ling solutions. The brands and branded communi- cations (brochures, annual reports, etc.) we createAnd if you have a branding challenge, we would endure and build value. Bringing together theof course be pleased to meet you and discuss how science and art of branding, our solutions areyour brand can be effectively leveraged to its engineered to elicit the desired responses frommaximum potential. stakeholders, building maximum brand value for our UngerPresident and Creative Director366 Adelaide Street W.Suite 207Toronto, OntarioCanada M5V 1R9 Thank you to Jim Hynes for his proofreading Note: The brand identities and trademarks in this416.597.1114 tel and wise counsel. document are the property of their respective owners. They are used here solely for information purposes.416.596.0807 fax © Method Branding, 2010NEW IDENTITY ALERT An occasional survey of new corporate brand identities compiled from on-line PAGE 15January 2011 compiled fromby Method Branding. by Method Branding. news sources on-line news sources