What makes a brand?

Jeff Hayzlett

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

What makes a brand? Is it the name? Identifying characteristics such as a logo? What people think and remember?

It could be all and maybe so much more. Every year the Interbrand Report comes out and ranks the top brands. They use a lot of methodology to come up with the best global brands. But, as long as I can remember, Coca-Cola has always been the number one ranking brand. And, it was again this year.

Now, let’s take a look at the 97th ranking brand – Starbuck’s. Last year they were 90. Starbuck’s has been around 40 years. And, in the 40 years, Starbucks has made quite a name for themselves.

Starbucks announced recently they were going to change their logo to express what Starbucks represents to their partners and customers. Along with business expansion must come a change to stay fit to what is true to the company, as well as what it will become in the future.

As part of a test, Itracks, a leading online research company conducted some research to determine what consumers were saying about the logo change.

The research was done in three phases:

1. We listen (Social Media Monitoring)

2. We ask (USA Talk Now)

3. We receive feedback (iMarkIt)

Overall, the response was very favorable for Starbucks. Those who were not in favor of the new logo were normally not avid Starbucks enthusiasts.

For more information on the Itracks study, click here: http://www.itracks.com/PURLS/Starbucks-Logo-Change.html

If you were to change your logo, would you go through this exercise? I think it’s invaluable.

Changing a brand logo has risks. Gap possibly could have diverted a lot of criticism if they would have asked consumers about their proposed new logo first. Lesson learned.

Take pride in your brand. It speaks volumes about who you are and what you represent.

About Jeff Hayzlett

Jeffrey Hayzlett served as the Chief Marketing Officer, to one of the most iconic world brands, Kodak, where he helped to lead one of the biggest turnarounds in business history. Named by Forbes Magazine, as the “Celebrity CMO,” for his numerous television and public appearances, Mr. Hayzlett was responsible for the Kodak's worldwide marketing operations including the design and implementation of all marketing strategies, investments, policies, and processes. He led the company's efforts for Strategy and Planning, Marketing Programs, Marketing Network Operations, Brand Development and Management, Business Development, and Corporate Sponsorships. He was also responsible for the company's Corporate Communications, Public Relations and Public Affairs organizations.