That there is absolutely nothing wrong with the new London 2012 Olympics logo, but there is something seriously wrong with the logo-driven branding industry at large, as this new logo clearly proves that as we approach 2012, global society will not respond to conventional logos or graphics, but only to these kinds of insignificant, dysfunctional and obscure design works which will eventually become branding norms throughout the world. This clearly proves the lingering demise of the logo-branding industry.
There is an increased numbness of today’s global consumers to overly-burdened, noisy advertising. This twisted and created hype that is often labeled as logo-driven branding exercises would eventually shut off the minds of future customers. This release of the London logo, half a decade prior to the 2012 games themselves, has realistically captured the essence and portrayed the future demonstrating the minuscule value of the logo.
Let’s face it, first of all in this hyper-accelerated society, the logos are almost dead. Fifty years ago, customers remembered the logos of IBM or Chevrolet, which presented uniquely mind grabbing graphical ideas by compressing their images into extremely sharp messages emulating simple vibes via powerful symbols. Not today, pick up your top ten companies and try to remember their logos and ask yourself if they really have an impact. With one million new logos a month being invented by the computer savvy, small business armies of ever growing nations like India and China, only the very naïve and the ad industry continues to dream in Technicolor, convinced that customers are memorizing the identical circles and lines in twisted colors now called fly-by-night and changed-by-the-day logos. This overly zealous creativity needs to be harnessed as the cut and paste culture and the latest libraries of million logos available for free have shifted the goal posts. This is one of the main reasons where advertising consistently and tragically fails over real marketing of real concepts.
Luckily, the Olympics is the modern world’s icon extraordinaire and having personally marketed the1976 Summer Olympic of Montreal, I have witnessed the power of its name and what awesome global presence it carries. The London 2012 Games are not at all at the mercy of this new logo, as the ever-unique, powerful and recognizable image of the Five Rings will provide longevity to its ever growing brand. In reality you need graphic overload and out of control logo treatments when your brand name identity has no value. What are the logos of Microsoft, Sony or Panasonic? What graphical techniques do they employ? Most smart corporations prefer powerful word marks, as their powerful, recognizable names stand alone in the rough marketplace and are not at the mercy of overblown graphics going through repeated treatments that are commonly labeled as brand positioning.
Clearly, there are two schools of thought; logo driven and name identity driven.
The principal belief of major global logo-branding agencies that any name can become a super brand is based entirely on bottomless budgets, and if for any reason if it doesn’t work, so what? Is this the reason why agencies are so often changed? Denials about the ultimate power of a global 5 Star Standard of Naming will continue to hurt the global ad industry. The other school of thought prophesies the new name-economy, in which name brands, as mature identities, skate on e-commerce from one region to another, amidst a highly mobile society that bears a strong understanding of the potential power behind the successful branding of a powerful name. As we approach the future, big logo-branding is dying fast while we enter into a cyber-geared-culture and a new name-driven-economy.
Naseem Javed, recognized world authority on corporate image and global name identities. Syndicated columnist and author of Naming for Power, recently spoke at Retailcity in Dubai