Tag Archives: rebrand

Planetary Branding

Before I begin…let me just say this analogy is imperfect…but we’re working on it.

The planet Pluto got “demoted” this week. It’s now official. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. It’s now a “dwarf planet” or a “trans-Neptunian object”.

But, a lot of people aren’t buying that. Depending on which recent poll numbers you believe, 60 to 80% of people are saying they’ll still treat Pluto as a planet.

See, it’s been the common view that Pluto is a planet for the last 76 years. In fact, the astronomers even took what the public might think into account in the decision since we all kind of have an interest in “our” solar system. Some of the astronomers were even trying to “save Pluto”. That’s why the 12 (plus) planet model was proposed last week.

Now obviously, this is a science/astronomy issue and this isn’t the Shotgun Astronomy Blog. What’s the link with marketing?

If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that my brand philosophy states that branding is one of the most important marketing tools, but I am adamantly opposed to the idea of “re-branding” As evidenced [here] [here] [here] [here] and [here]

Scientific classification needs aside….in essence, the IAU attempted to “re-brand” the solar system last week. Nothing has changed out in the cosmos. We’re just supposed to describe it and relate to it in a different way.

In the same way that you might be rolling your eyes at this IAU Pluto decision, consumers roll their eyes when you throw out a new logo and say “things are different, now!”.

Brands don’t change overnight. Brands are created by the consumer. They are NOT created by the company. Brands are a bottom-up proposition….not top-down. Yes, you can guide the way the brand is developed and place the necessary items in the marketing conversation to lead the development. But, a brand is truly developed with time in the consumers’ experiences with your organization.

And the longer a brand impression is in the consumers’ minds…the longer it will take to change it. The “solar system brand” will have 9 planets for as long as the public wants it to have 9. New textbooks and planetary models will slowly change the public’s perception of the brand.

The next time your company sits around a table and “votes” to change the brand…ask yourself if Pluto is a planet.


Czech Mate

Just as we’re “re-branding” every spot on the map in the U.S….the phenomenon has spread worldwide. The Czech Republic now has a logo. [LINK]

Newsflash:: Most countries already have a logo…it’s called a FLAG.

I’m no expert on Eastern European Graphic Design…but it looks a LITTLE busy to be a logo. It looks to be more of a poster. Each of the little cartoon bubbles highlights a part of the Czech culture. From the press release….

It’s very bouncy and playful, and one row of bubbles is dedicated to words like “mushrooming”, or “Christmas carp” and “remoska” referring to favourite Czech hobbies and a very famous Czech portable oven.

Ahhh, nothing like the lights on the tree and the Christmas carp in the oven.

(Sad Disclosure — I actually got a little giddy when I thought of the corny title to this post. Close runners up were “Czech, Please” and “Czech out this new logo”. …I think I made the best choice.)


New Jersey

Some people collect stamps…or coins…or dust.

Apparently, I collect stories about the fallacy of municipal “re-branding”…[here] [here] [here] [here] and [here]

The latest?…New Jersey

As usually happens when states and cities “rebrand”, clever people come up with slogans based on the REAL brand position that place currently holds. AdJab has several funny alternatives such as “New Jersey: Not just a dumping ground for dead bodies



Yesterday, Intel revealed would dump the logo they have had since 1968. This in addition to changing their corporate slogan from “intel inside” to “leap ahead”.


My perception of them is automatically changing.

Let’s just hope they don’t mess with their audio logo. It’s the most valuable corporate asset they have.

UPDATE:: The above is a quick sarcastic rant (what I do best). For a really good treshing out of this idea, check out this post from AdRants.


Sherman’s Branding to the Sea

Apparently, I have not captured the attention of civic leaders with my rants, ridicule, and general hatred of the fallacy of “re-branding” a city/ state /or any product

Another city has jumped on the branding bandwagon…Atlanta.

The slogan behind their new logo is the 3 “O’s”…Opportunity – Optimism – Openness

I have a few other suggestions for slogans…
–Atlanta – You’ve connected in the airport. Try staying longer
–Atlanta – Come to Peachtree Street. No, the other one. No, the other one…
–Atlanta – Come for the traffic. Stay for the congestion.
–Atlanta – Coke & CNN
And of course..

The My-Lanta Blog has some neat/funny variations of the logo that represents “all the best that Atlanta has to offer”. (Family friendly warning – some are slightly vulgar)

Link::“Official” Atlanta Brand site

tags ::

More Municipal Brand Talk!

We”re stuck on a topic. But, it’s a good one…the “rebranding” of municipalities and states. Tara a/k/a “miss rogue” had a great comment about cities’ brand strategy…

“…Perhaps re-branding a city wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it involved the actual inhabitants and went beyond a silly logo and an advertising campaign. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…”

That’s right on the mark. Too many cities (and companies) focus on the logos and ads rather than the actual brand makers. I touched on that lightly in the Kentucky brand article I linked to in the previous posts.

The problem is that when cities do try to reach out and change perceptions they are ridiculed by the media and masses for “wasting taxpayers’ money” just as much or more than they are for creating the logos and ads. Often, the logo gets better press that the effort.

A good example is when former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani launched his quality of life campaign for New York in the mid-90s. It helped the New York brand, but was widely panned in the press.

A current example is the US Government’s PR effort to change the perceptions of America…particularly in the Arab world. A lot of the negative hype over that move that is partisan and political, but obviously the US needs a PR boost.

And my favorite (fictional) example from Seinfeld…Dinkins loses the race to Giuliani because of Elaine’s suggestion to Lloyd Braun that everyone in the City wear nametags to make New York a nicer place.

tags:: , , ,

Brand it

One of the local Chambers of Commerce is having a press conference this week to “unveil” their new brand for economic development efforts.

That’s interesting.

I’m having a press conference next week to unveil my new personality and what people think about me. Starting next week, I would like to be referred to as Foster.

The two are the same concept. People get the terms “brand” and “logo” confused. A lot.

The personality analogy is a little incomplete, but gets the idea across. Your brand is what people expect from you. You influence it by the way you act and talk…the ideas you share. You define the parameters of what people expect from you. But in the end, people will establish their own perception of you. In a corporate sense, this is called your “BRAND”.

A logo is akin to the human face. When people I know see me, they recognize me by my physical characteristics. “Hey, it’s Chris. (or next week…”Hey, it’s Foster”) From that recognition, their mind pulls up what they think about me (my personality/brand characteristics)

If I had a facelift or cosmetic surgery (I changed my logo), it would not greatly affect what people thought of me.

And yet, companies do this all the time. A new logo will not change “your brand”. Changing what you do changes your brand…slowly. You’re defining your brand if you have a brand strategy or not. People are making judgements on the brand with every interaction they have with your business.

I’m sure the inspiration for this “brand” move from the local Chamber came from the “branding of Kentucky” movement. Kentucky and Oregon are the only two states that have brand strategies (all 50 actually have brands, by the way). I wrote an article for one of the state’s newspapers about Kentucky’s misplaced branding efforts back in January. I have a copy of that article on the blog. You can read it here.

tags:: , , ,