Monthly Archives: August 2013

Brand logo evoluton vs revolution. What’s the difference?

Brand logos broadcast a unique, memorable, and clear message about the products and services they visually represent. For food marketers, a brand logo can have a long shelf life, but as trends and markets change, it may become necessary to make adjustments. The question is:  what kind of adjustments?

Since there has been an investment in branding over time, the value of an established brand logo can become considerable. There may be many reasons to consider only minor changes to an otherwise serviceable brand logo such as refreshing the look to reflect current trends. There may also be many reasons to consider a complete logo redesign, such as mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, and re-direction of product or product category focus. The brand logo change then becomes a decision between brand logo evolution or brand logo revolution.

Making any change to a brand logo should be supported by a strategic business objective. This will not only assist in garnering the support of all the various stakeholders, it will also set a clear direction for the creative effort. Making any changes to a brand logo can have both emotional and financial impacts, so it is an effort typically undertaken infrequently, a once-a-decade kind of effort. Here are the degrees of brand logo change to consider, ranging from change, to evolution, to revolution:

1. Change without change. This is akin to getting a haircut without losing any length. The change is subtle, basically leaving the overall design of the brand logo intact and unquestionably recognizable. This effort usually revolves more around the message and design elements that support the logo rather than changes to the logo itself. This strategy works well for established brands with positive images within their market base. It allows the brand logo to remain relevant in a changing marketplace.

2. Brand logo evolution: Many brand logos are continuously tweaked over time to maintain relevance and encompass changes in brand strategies, but the underlying logo mark is not fundamentally changed or lost. Two high profile examples are Nike and Apple, whose products and target audiences are very dynamic. Brand logo evolution is a great strategy for brands that have established themselves as innovators and maintained their positive image over time.

3. Brand logo revolution. As history has shown us time and again, revolution is aimed at total change. For brands, this can be necessitated by major strategic shifts or by market and business events of seismic proportions. These factors can be both internal and external to the organization but the net result can be a brand logo that has completely lost its utility. As the organization redefines itself and its products and services, a brand logo needs to be developed from the ground up. In recent times, some industries have been more effected than others, such as healthcare, airlines, and financial services, and we have seen many complete re -branding efforts.

If you’re uncertain where your brand logo falls on the continuum from change, to evolution, to revolution, ask these questions:

1. Does your brand logo fit with your current business model, as well as your strategic direction for the future?

2. Does your brand logo resonate with your current and projected target market?

3. Does your brand logo convey your brand message in relevant ways?

4. Does your brand logo function and translate well across all media platforms, such as online/digital, broadcast, and print?

5. Does your brand logo clearly differentiate your brand from its competitive set?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it is probably time to consider a brand logo assessment and possible design effort.

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Social media platforms…simple diversions or marketing tools?

Facebook.  Foursquare.  Instagram.  LinkedIn.  Pinterest. Twitter. Vine. YouTube.  A few of the most popular social media platforms that vie for everyone’s attention every day. From a food marketing perspective, social media can have a great deal of utility in connecting with consumers, building brands, and generating sales, but with one big caveat: they need to be designed as marketing tools and not simple diversions.

Everyone looks for some diversions everyday…an opportunity to disconnect from daily responsibilities for a short while. Social media fills that need very nicely. However, with the right focus and messaging, social media can be designed as a powerful marketing tool.

Here’s the difference:

Facebook as a diversion:  check to see what other people are doing

Facebook as a marketing tool:  stay connected with food brands, products, and other consumers

Pinterest as a diversion:  browse interesting images

Pinterest as a marketing tool:  search for menu and recipe ideas, serving suggestions, and food products

Twitter as a diversion:  follow amusing hashtags and conversations

Twitter as a marketing tool:  source of real-time food product information and consumer engagement with products

To make effective use of social media, food marketers need to consider their brands from several aspects. While there will always be some diversionary aspects to a brand’s social media, combining those with marketing aspects creates marketing value in social media.

An emotional outlet:  the connection consumers have with food brands and products

A mental escape:  the opportunity to use food brands and consumer experiences as a brief diversion

A learning opportunity:  how food brands and products can be used

A purchasing resource: where to purchase specific food brands and products, and promotions and incentives to purchase

By keeping all of these perspectives in mind and offering engaging content, food marketers can create loyal fans who frequent their social sites and share with their networks. In this way social media platforms transition from simple diversions to real marketing tools.

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