If this isn’t your first visit here (by the way, welcome back) you’ll notice that my site looks completely different. If this is your first visit – what kept you?
First and foremost – this isn’t a re-brand. Okay, I’ll admit that it looks an awful lot like a re-brand, but let me explain. I’ve previously bemoaned the marketer’s desire to re-brand at every opportunity, so you could forgive me for doing just that. But, what happened was this…
Listening to your customers
I liked the gritty look of the old site, but I’d recently received a fair bit of feedback telling me that people didn’t know how to comment on things as it wasn’t clear, I agree it wasn’t. So, I looked at what I could do to rectify this. In doing so I soon realised that, great though WordPress is, if you’ve got the free version like me (tight git that I am), you are quite restricted on what you can do and so if I wanted to make it easier for people to comment on my blog I was going to have to change theme. So that’s what I’ve done – let me know if that works better for you, or not. You’d do that by commenting…
An example of re-branding gone wrong
I still think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of a bad re-brand than British Airway’s efforts a few years back. Okay it wasn’t as bad as this airline brand below, but it wasn’t great either:
The story with British Airways, in case you missed it, was that since it’s inception as British Airways the airline has always carried the Union Jack on its aeroplanes’ tail fins. This worked well for them, after all they were the national carrier and having an affinity with a nation which was always (wrongly) associated with good service – think plummy butler – didn’t harm them. So, when they came to re-brand it was a little bit surprising to see them ditch the flag, not only that, some bright spark thought it would be great to go for a number of designs, presumably to see to what length they could confuse their customer?
It shouldn’t have been surprising really, because a report published by a think-tank (don’t get me started) in 1997 suggested that Britain’s image abroad was one of a backward looking country. Apparently this meant that customers thought we Brits produced uncompetitive goods of poor quality and that Britain was a country were you could expect bad weather and shoddy bed and breakfasts.
Don’t forget, this was the time of ‘New Labour’ and ‘Cool Britannia‘. In light of this, what choice did BA have but to ditch the flag in a £60 million re-branding exercise? BA really had no option but to have a go at re-inventing themselves and the new tail fins were the result of this.
The trouble is, as I’ve mentioned before, your brand has to be first and foremost, based in reality. BA was still a bit of a dinosaur as an organisation and giving the tail fins a new ‘cool’ coat of paint wasn’t going to change that – they’d just be a dinosaur with a new wardrobe – which is a surreal image isn’t it. The fact that the tail fins were so different and didn’t reference BA’s (interesting that they prefer to be known as BA than British anything) heritage didn’t help either.
On launching the new brand the public and the papers went for BA in a big way. If they’d suggested using a picture of the Queen and one of her corgis on the tail fins the result would have been the opposite, the British public (we could refer to them as BP – but that’s not good either) would have lapped it up!
Suffice to say that BA are still called British Airways and now, once again, carry the Union Jack (of sorts) on their tail fins.
Let’s hope I’m not forced into a similar move, if so at least my re-brand (which isn’t a re-brand) was done on a budget of £0.
They are not alone
Did the Olympics 2012 team get it right with their effort, hmm – what does the feedback tell us?
“This logo is f***ing s***. Feel free to quote me. It doesn’t look like 2012 (which is apparently what it’s based on) and it doesn’t look professional: It does, however, look like a f***ing disaster area, so it probably suits the Olympics rather well.” This was taken from an article in the Metro, further comments on this logo here.
They’ve even come up with Mascots, bless them:
So, welcome to the new and not-re-branded, but proudly British Marketing Moaner – make yourself comfortable.
- Branding In 30 Seconds (conversationmarketing.com)