Friday, December 28, 2012

Our 2013 New Logo Wish List

We saw a lot of brand revisions over the last 12 months.

Some good, some not-so-good.
Nearly all following a trend in “less is more/K.I.S.S.” marketing design.

But while many brands decided to go under the knife this year, there’s many more that did not, but should have.

And so, without further ado, here’s just a  short list of the brands we’d like to see transformed in 2013.

In alphabetical order:
Bed Bath & Beyond
I almost always mistakenly say Bath & Body Works. Anyone else? Talk about a lack of brand equity!
Bed. Bath. And Beyond. The name itself is an alliteration of 3 B-words of public domain. How about Boring Bland and Bloated? And speaking of bloated, the word “BEYOND.”  I get what they’re trying to do here; intimate their store carries EVERYTHING. But it just looks lazy and out of date.

They need something that’s more compact, even when stacked. The words themselves are uninspired, so BB&B should work to build some sort of brand personality out of the font/character style and colors they choose. Partner the name with a mascot even? It couldn’t hurt.

I’ll never understand why GM would give the ax to Pontiac only to leave Buick standing. Pontiac drove excitement, what’s Buick drive? Grandmas and grandpas to church, that’s what. And not very fast.
I’m guessing that I’m not Buick’s target market. But really, I want to know where GM sees this nameplate within its brand ecosystem. While Cadillac is old luxury, is Buick the other 99%? Our grandparents loved them, but that was 20+ years ago. As our parents take their place in the family tree they’re not just going to concede themselves to driving mom and dad’s car. And so, a new Buick for a new generation of Buick owners! That’s what we need.

The circle + 3 bands of armor could be completely reimagined. Maybe it’s a rectangle with a tighter crop on the shields? Maybe in includes a new palate of color? Maybe the word “Buick” comes back in dropped casing? How to get there is up to you. Just get there.

Burger King
I'm pretty sure my Burger King Kids Club (BKKC) membership documents boasted the same corporate seal back in 1992.
The primary blue + red + yellow just feels greasy and chock full of saturated fat. Use brand revision as an opportunity to more clearly articulate your position in the face of competition. It doesn’t have to be drastic like Wendy’s Q1 forecasted change (ick). Maybe, like Arby’s, it’s just a matter of growing up a bit.

Instead of basic, garish color, opt for a silver, almost-metallic finish? Or maybe rich earth tones? Down play “Burger King” for an abbreviated “BK” in a stately new font. Finally put a crown on the thing (subtle, yet kitschy).
Neiman Marcus
Is it too early to call the Target-Neiman holiday partnership a flop? It was a decent attempt at meeting next-gen luxury buyers where they are today, but with store shelves still stocked, year-end mark downs were imminent. It might be time to take brand redefinition a new direction.
50% off and STILL not moving?
A quick stroll down Chicago’s Michigan Ave this time of year will help size up the competition. For Saks, it’s a simple-stoic Christmas, classic luxury. Nordstrom is warm charming eclectic (oh, and obsessed with birds). Then on the other end of the spectrum, Bloomingdales hosts a bright and boisterous, high-energy holiday. These auras transcend the stores’ holiday motifs into everyday branding. And so I ask again, who is Neiman-Marcus?
Neiman’s is taupe walls and tan dated marble floors. Neiman’s is your rich (great) aunt’s store – where she can still buy loose knit sweaters with sparkles and extra-high shoulder pads. It’s stuffy with heavy perfume and always at least 10 degrees too hot.

I realize for heritage retail brands it's a giant leap of faith to stray on logo. But there's no equity in ultra-80's squiggle fonts. It looks like it should be spelling out “you can do it!” on the wall of a jazzercise class. You’re on your own with this one, guys – but there’s got to be something you can do to breathe some new life into NM.

Pizza Hut
I know, we loved the 90's too, but they aren't coming back. Actually, the clothes might, but let’s not wait up, OK?
The font feels like it belongs to a Mexican fast-casual restaurant. And seriously, what’s with the squirt of yellow mustard at the bottom? And the jalapeño pepper dotted “i?” Do you even have jalapeño peppers? The iconic roofline has been reduced to a misshapen mess that even the most agreeable Red Hat Society gal would refuse to wear.

Put simply, the logo is sloppy and doesn’t compute well in the age of digital. Cleaner lines, less scribbles. As the menu expands, maybe consider dropping to “The Hut?”

Verizon Wireless
I suppose they’re too busy ruling the air to come down to earth for a brand tune up. The logo is not half bad. It’s just over-exposed.
We see it daily; across every advertising channel imaginable. 34(ish)% of us see it every time we go to return a text. Sprint refreshed when it purchased Nextel and AT&T recently refined casing and their globe. So maybe it’s just that Verizon seems to be the only one still using last generation’s logo. If there’s any industry where you want to feel young, hip, and cutting edge, it’s mobile telecom. And yet, every time I see the Verizon logo, I think of my first cell phone, the Qualcomm Kyocera (circa 2000).

It was cool on flip phones. Now what do you got for smart phones?

So there you have it. 6 brands on my new logo wish list for 2013.

Do you have any others to add?
Please, share with us!

….and Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Great post!

    In the Miami-area, Burger King is testing the Whopper Bar (also called the BK Lounge). They're beautiful stainless steel-style restaurants focused on what Burger King should have been screaming the last decade... HOME OF THE WHOPPER. McDonald's has long abandoned the burger in favor or Arabica beans, and if BK acts quick with their new Whopper Bar concept, they could be the greatest comeback story of the decade.

    Also, I believe the Target-Neiman Marcus partnership was a smashing success. It got a ton of buzz and had major wow factor. It makes you think something more of Target and I think that was exactly the point. Even my mom was talking about it, so it must be breakthrough. Not sure what NM had to gain though.

  2. Also, I should add that the NM stuff won't be going markdown at Target. Word has it that Target will literally destroy all NM merchandise. NM refuses to allow "sale" or "clearance" be associated with their brand.