The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Is Ignorance Or Delusion, Bliss?
August 26, 2009, 6:35 am
Filed under: Comment

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of very clever people who work in brand consultancies.

No – it’s not April the 1st – it’s true.

The reason I feel I have to point this out is because if you were to follow some of the comments being made by some of the more ‘high profile’ individuals, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a home for fuckwits, used car salesmen and con artists.

My personal pet peeve?

When they take a company for fucking millions, claiming a new logo … and ONLY a new logo … can change the fate of a company overnight.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely appreciate the importance, value and appeal of a strong and memorable visual identity, but if the products shit, it ain’t gonna work – at least in the long term.

Let’s be honest, Google’s “logo” looks like some 5 year old with powerpoint put it together … however, because the brand actually lives a meaningful, demonstrable, motivating and infectious philosophy, no one really gives a damn.

Hell, some people actually think Google is cool … how weird is that eh!

So why am I saying this …

Because someone – I don’t know who – has said to SONY Ericsson, that the future of their company isn’t about making better products or offering superior customer service, it’s about recreating their logo in different colours.

Yes, that’ll do it … I have instantly forgotten that they treated me like a total prick when their phones kept failing … I’ve painted out of my memory the fact they lied and then called me a liar … I’ve moved on from the fact they continually create products that almost always has one key feature missing … they now have their weird logo in 5 lovely shades and so regardless of what tat they churn out, I’ll be queuing up for them.

Brilliant move Sony Ericsson … I wonder how much you paid for it?

Whatever it was, it was too much.

No doubt the pink symbol will be used for girl phones and the blue on boys. Green will be for business models and the brown and purple will be kept in a tin on the shelf till they find a way to make phones they can sell to dogs and lesbians.

[No, I don’t know where I’m going with this either]

I find it incredibly sad that so many companies genuinely believe a new visual identity – without anything to really back it up – can change their fate. Their belief that it signifies a ‘change’ to the market is astounding given most people won’t even notice it, let alone care.

I guess it is symbolic of a culture [from Governments to shareholders] that is continually looking for short-cuts to success rather than putting in the hard yards and facing their responsibilities … and the fact common sense flies out the window when a brand consultancy will happily perpetuate the companies delusion makes me sad.

Terribly, terribly sad.

22 Comments so far
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You can’t fool me Rob, this was part of yesterdays post wasn’t it and you just but it in half to make up todays rant. Isn’t that a shortcut to something you hypocrite?

Corporate identity can’t polish bullshit, but I guess management consultants have found a way to polish their patter so it seems like it can.

They should write a business version of ‘The Game’ because the pricks seem to get lucky more than the rest of the industry. Guess they target the weak, easily influenced and low self esteemed as well. (Copyright Campbell)

Comment by Billy Whizz

Having worked on Sony Ericsson I can confidently say that their ‘visual identity’ came with one of the most restrictive, limiting set of ‘guidelines’ I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

This looks set to make things a whole lot worse. Excellent.

Comment by keangus

Given SE’s recent profit forecast (or zero profit forecast) I’m surprised they managed to scrape up the hundreds of thousands of dollars they needed to pay a management consultant to color in their logo in a range of shades.

I wonder if they were charged by the colour? It might explain why they have “faeces brown” in their visual identity suite. LOL.

Comment by Pete

God this drives me insane. The last couple of weeks I’ve been sitting in meetings listening to clients say things “ohh, but it will confuse the consumer”… when hang on, who gives a shit about some minor logo alteration when you’re actual product is fucked but you don’t want to address that!!

I’m hoping that you’re kinda wrong with this post Rob… that this is more of an internal visual thing to separate various divisions within the company. That I can accept. But I fear you are right, it’s so fkn stupid and pointless.

Comment by Age

Prepare to cry Age …

I know I am a big believer in how ‘little things can make the biggest difference’, but in SONY Ericsson’s case, they need a big thing to make a difference and quite frankly, an existing logo in a bunch of colours just ain’t gonna cut it.

Another example of a company adopting the lazy marketers way to brand development … which is why I can’t wait to see the excuses they trot out when 12 months from now, their sales haven’t shifted one bit.

SONY Ericsson used to be pioneers in both tech & design … at this rate they’ll soon be the mobile equivilent of D.I.G.I.T.A.L. computers.

Remember them? Exactly.

Comment by Rob

Pffft… is this another case of brand managers with short lifespans wanting to “appear” to have made big changes all in the hope of impressing in their next interview?

Comment by Age

Oh, and I mean… “SAFE” big changes.

Comment by Age

Or a brand that wants to appear they’re making ‘big changes’ to their disgruntled shareholders. Short term thinking … but sadly, it rarely catches up with the people behind it because most of the time, they’ve either buggered off or got a soddin’ promotion.

Comment by Rob

There’s no reason for this comment – it’s just it becomes the ‘23,000th’ I’ve had on here.


Apart from the fact that I am sure 90% of them are full of swearing and completely off tangent with the topic they are linked to, it also makes me wonder what sort of saddo I attract. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Coincidence, I’m presenting to one of the huge business consulting firms in a couple of hours. What has the world come to!! They have taken up the role of ‘gatekeepers’, guess clients want to relinquish all responsibility & possibilities of blame!

Comment by bhaskar

i wonder how often the porsche logo has changed recently. or ferrari. or even coke.

in entertainment, the more costume changes a company has, the shittier the performance. same applies to consumer goods, kids.

Comment by lauren

I remember Andy wanted to change cynic’s visual identity every week. Even though he tried to claim it would represent a freshness to the company – I knew he just wanted to get rid of the ‘impact’ font.

But you know what, I still think there is some method to the madness, but I do appreciate that for it to work, it would have to be a particular type of company – someone like the irrepressible kesselskramer. []

Comment by Rob

I think Age was spot on with: Pffft… is this another case of brand managers with short lifespans wanting to “appear” to have made big changes all in the hope of impressing in their next interview?

You see it all the time, change for the sake of change. Changing a brand for personal gain. Perhaps if brands stopped rewarding temporary blips of improvement and focus on the long term these people wouldn’t feel the need to fix what doesn’t need fixing.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Whoa whoa… 23k???

5k Andy loves you
5k Andy hates you
5k Rob responding to Andy’s love/hate
8k assorted real comments


Comment by Rob Mortimer

You’re being generous with the amount of ‘real’ comments you think are made on this blog. I would put the figure at about 8 … and that is made of mainly you, Lee, George and my Mum.

[No offence to anyone else who has made a genuine comment over the past few years … but let’s face it, it’s more likely to be a mistake than something you meant to do, ha!]

Comment by Rob

I like how you responded to my comments comment not my actual relevant comment…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Just maintaining the trend. Maintaining the trend.

And remember, one of the reasons why so many companies think short term is because shareholders are continually badgering them to demonstrate how well/badly they’re doing … so I guess there’s more people to blame than just the ones drawing the salary.

Comment by Rob

Oh absolutely. It’s the same mindset that caused banks to gamble on risky deals rather than long term security, and look how well that turned out.

Oh, you mean they are still rich fuckers with more money than sense? Goddamnit. Where’s Andy when you need him…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It’s like old times this isn’t it … bantering away on the blog. Quite sad really, hahaha!

Have you read ‘Credit Crunch’? Seriously, it amazes me how people didn’t see this shit coming – but then like most thieves, they probably thought they’d be long gone before anyone realised.

Comment by Rob

Not yet, it’s in my never ending list of books to read!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

They did see it coming.

Comment by John

SOME people saw it coming … but a hell of a lot didn’t. Or chose not to.

But you wouldn’t care would you Mr Dodds given you have a pot of Premiership football club gold sitting in your moth-eaten wallet.

Comment by Rob

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