One thing in common: a lack of sense

One common denominator seems to emerge from the disastrous relaunches featured in your article ‘The trouble with facelifts” (MW June 6): a complete failure of basic common sense.

Also, can I be the only one to see a link with the amount of money at stake in any given brand launch or relaunch? Apprehension about the sums involved can create a situation where it is easy to lose sight of the ball. Brands establishing themselves from scratch often have less to lose and everything to play for, a situation far more conducive to the creation of innovative and memorable solutions.

It has been argued in Marketing Week’s letters pages that, to be a “proper” brand identity consultancy, one needs to possess tiers of analysts, strategists and account executives.

I disagree – most of the recent brand disasters have involved the big boys. The lesson is to keep it simple. Lotto fails because it is simply too confusing. BA failed because it, too, was confusing (when they were unable to recognise a plane’s livery, people used to ask: “Is it a British Airways?”). As for Consignia… enough said.

I doubt if the creation of the Shell logo involved so much agonising.

I believe that three basic criteria are often missing in the creation (or relaunch) of a successful brand: a genuine empathy with consumers; a touch of inspiration; and, as I said, a very, very large dose of common sense.

Paul Simmons




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