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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Branding and spirit

Geoffrey James in a posting takes a pot shot at Xerox's logo rebranding, questioning the resources for this initiative. He is partly right -- if you are a smaller business, you don't want to be wasting money on this stuff -- especially since logos and things are only a small part of the branding process. Of course, if you are Xerox, you can sell your brand license for a good profit!

How many times do I need to repeat this: Branding is not advertising, logos, slick presentations, and gimmicks. It is your relationship with your current, former, and potential clients -- and how they perceive you; whether positive or negative (or, for that matter, whether they know you are there.)

So when I see crap out there I get a little angry. Here is an posting from someone purporting to be an expert on the topic (I won't publish any real names here because I don't believe in attacking individuals with negative observations in this blog -- part of my own branding philosophy):
The moving agenda of corporate world is now brand. The company's goal and market targeting activities are revealed through this. It is the key to the success of corporate companies. The value of company is reflected through brand. Brands are no longer accessed on the basis of performance, whether functional, financial or emotional. It should be used to reflect company's ambitions, characteristics and personality which will ultimately provide visibility and notoriety.
Apart from anything the main importance of a logo is to create a visual identity rather better to say to create the persona of a company. Color plays a vital role in creating logo. Color should be used to label or show hierarchy, to represent or imitate reality to unify separate or emphasize to decorate. Secondary or supporting colors can be used to harmonize our main color palate. Supporting colors are used to keep the design fresh and forward looking. A harmonious effect should be created through the color used in logo, it should be unique versatile and functional. Few balances should be maintained while creating it, a balance between color, shape, and position is very essential. Symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance and radial symmetrical balance should be maintained also.

If you understand what this means, you are definitely in another place (planet)? But there are other equally absurd examples of waste/misconceptions regarding branding.

You'll enjoy, for example this BNet blog entry from Geoffrey James where he takes a pot shot at the new logo/branding claims from Xerox. However, I think he is being a bit hard on Xerox here -- when you are a multi-billion dollar corporation, it makes sense to care about things like the logo; just as it makes sense for McDonald's to perhaps have a staffer dedicated to how to handle the vinegar in its condiment packets. A fraction of a cent savings or a slight addition to the taste satisfaction on this seemingly minor item, multiplied over thousands of locations, probably would more than recover the cost/effort of a small team of full time staffers -- but you don't want to be doing this stuff if you are a small business!

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