Friday, January 18, 2008

Case Study: More than a logo

Xerox recently changed its logo, hoping its visual brand would help the public company identity catch up with the philosophical changes the modern Xerox represents.

The Xerox case illustrates a couple of points. First, forging a brand identity is a scientific process of learning what is meaningful to your customers. According to a January 8th article in PharmaLive, Xerox “spent more than 18 months interviewing some 5,000 people around the world about their associations with the Xerox name. Then they set about figuring how they could best retain the nice things it stands for (dependability and stability), jettison the not-so-nice (formal, somewhat stodgy) — and, most important, add attributes like modern, innovative and flexible.”

Also important to note with the Xerox case is that a brand identity is more than a change in philosophy and it is more than a logo. Xerox has not been a “copier company” for years, having grown beyond that and into networked printing solutions. Their philosophies had changed, but their identity stayed put.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that brands are about the entire package. As my Forward. Fast.® tool suggests, the brand links together the qualities of industry reputation (Likeability), visual impact (Logo), caliber of products (Quality Offering), connections to meaningful partners (Associations), brand personality (Attitude), and product interactions (Quality Experience). The way customers analyze all of these elements as a whole is what they perceive as your brand identity.

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