Ritson criticised the drive for the “dreaded consistent look and feel” in “brand code” management where every logo and font must be the same during his presentation at Marketing Week Live 2012 today (28 June).
“This is what people do when they don’t understand the brand. It’s logo fascism.”
He said one of the key lessons to learn from luxury brands was to understand the brand codes – which are any symbolic motif used by the brand, not just logos.
He pointed out that Burberry, Hermes and Dom Perignon played with their codes and mass market brands that are confident enough to follow this route as an example of “smart, modern brand thinking” include Coca-Cola and Google.
Ritson criticised the London 2012 Olympics organisers of being guilty of logo fascism and said that they had missed the opportunity to be more open and humourous with the motifs.
Other lessons to learn from luxury brands, according to Ritson, include making sure that the marketing director does not talk to mass consumer media.
Ritson said: “Nothing kills a brand quicker than a marketing director going on TV. The minute you speak to the media you hurt your brand – find someone on the brand who is more relevant, it’s usually the people who make the product, the artisans.”
He also pointed out that “nobody loves vanilla” and brands that claim to be exclusive should ensure they act so, even if it means alienating potential customers.
He said: “You cannot have a brand if you go after everyone. Marketing is not a democracy.”
Read Mark Ritson’s column on brand disruption here.