I wrote this blog a few days back and it seems that the timing is just perfect. Airtel unveiled its new logo today. I have been a loyal customer of Airtel for the last 4 years and here's my verdict, as a customer - "I don't care. It doesn't excite me. I am not sure what difference it makes in my life." And I want to ask Airtel - "What's in it for me?" I upgraded to a new Android smart phone last weekend and I am still unable to get my mail box set up because Airtel does not have a GPRS support number that can be dialed from a landline. Every time I call their support team they patiently tell me that my phone will not be able to download the mailbox settings, while it is in use and therefore I will need to call them from another mobile. So, till I can request someone to part with their mobile phone for at least 20 minutes, I will be left without a mail box.
That was the customer perspective. Below is a brand and marketing professional's perspective.
The logo is not the brand. Most of us know it. Still, we obsess with what I refer to as brand cosmetology - the theory, design, color/placement protocols etc., of the logo and other brand expressions.
“Thou shalt not place the logo anywhere, except in its lawful recommended position” admonishes the Brand Guideline book.
The question is - who really cares? Customers are not going to look at the blue of your logo and think “That’s a reliable company”. Employees are not going to look at some imagery on your website and say “Wow! They are innovative. I will join them”. Business partners will not see your award-winning logo design and say “That’s a bold, innovative company. We’ll do business with them”. If you have carefully chosen green or yellow to convey something, the customer is still going to see red in a moment of poor experience. A shift in its recommended print position is not going to jeopardize brand loyalty.
Still, brand cosmetology swallows up precious time, money and energy.
What If -
1. We re-deploy our energies to where the brand truly resides – in the experience of the customer?
2. We re-order the Brand Rule Book to simply focus on the non-negotiable principles of customer value?
3. The Brand manager says – “We don’t mind where you place the logo in the ad. But you better not mess with customer experience”?
4. We say no to spending millions of dollars on designing or re-designing the company logo?
5. We do not explain the logo form or color rationale and let each brand experience convey the real story?
6. We do away with the text and theory and let proof points demonstrate our brand value?
7. What if we talk less and do more?