Why is it that big brands think spending a fortune on a total re-brand is such a good idea? In recent weeks two well known brands have thrown out their old corporate identity and gone for an entirely new look. I think both have made a big mistake in the process.
Travel giant Thomas Cook has just unveiled its new logo and slogan. The globe has gone and in comes the Sunny Heart. As one of my friends said it looks like LV has had a baby! What does this logo say about travel?
I get that Thomas Cook wanted one logo to unify all its different businesses but this is not grabbing me. I understand that they wanted to convey that the brand has a heart and cares about what they do. The way to do that is not with a new logo! It’s by inspiring and empowering staff to live the message with every customer at every touch point, Customers need to feel special. They need to feel important. They need to feel that their needs are paramount. Those feelings are not conveyed in a logo they are earned by excellent customer service delivered consistently. I haven’t used Thomas Cook for years but what I have heard from others suggests that they have work to do.
Branding is about much more than a logo or a slogan, it’s about the way the brand operates and so many businesses think they can fix what is wrong by changing the image. They can’t! I hope that Thomas Cook is also investing in staff training and empowerment alongside their re-branding. I hope that they are making sure that every member of the team appreciates their responsibility for making every customer feel special.
Oh yes, and before I move on Thomas Cook has dropped it’s old slogan, ‘Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it’ in favour of the bland and instantly forgettable ‘Let’s Go’! Why? The whole point of a slogan is that it should instantly remind prospects what you do and who you are so that they will do business with you. The best slogans incorporate the name and what the business does. Thomas Cook had one of those. I just Googled Let’s Go and got pages of references to other businesses. Top of the list is a student publication called ‘Let’s Go’ which is also the name of Ryan Air’s in house publication. Hardly distinctive is it?
Ernst and Young
Another company which has recently re-branded is consultancy giant Ernst and Young, now known simply as EY. Now I can see that a global brand needs a name and identity that easily translates into different languages but did they check what a Google search for EY would produce? Can you guess?
It’s the name of a global magazine targeted at young gay men and described by some as soft porn! The branding industry very quickly picked up on that mistake when the new branding was launched.
So what are the lessons for small businesses?
- Think twice before re-branding
- Be clear about your reasons for doing it
- Check out new names, logos and slogans before you spend significant money and make sure you are not encroaching on anyone else’s intellectual property or inadvertently associating yourself with an inappropriate brand
- Remember a brand is about much more than an identity, fix anything that is wrong with the customer’s experience before you spend any money on a new look
- Learn from the mistakes of others.
Before you spend a fortune on developing or re-working your brand identity take advantage of our free half hour consultation offer. We’ll work with you through our corporate identity brief to make sure that you are really clear about what you are trying to achieve. We’ll then email you a copy to pass on to your designer so they have no doubts about what you want. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a mutually convenient appointment.
- Thomas Cook joins all brands under new ‘sunny heart’ logo for first time ever (standard.co.uk)
- Thomas Cook replaces globe logo with ‘sunny heart’ (dailymail.co.uk)