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« The Soul of the Corporation | Finding Personality Early On »

May 29, 2008

You Don't Need a New Logo

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Brand & Identity

No new logoEarlier this week, I reviewed the brilliant work of Hamid Bouchikhi and John R. Kimberly, The Soul of the Corporation. The book definitely deserves more than one blog entry, especially because it is so closely tied to the work we do at Personality™.

When I consult with clients, it's frustrating how often they attempt to manipulate branding and image design to communicate the very essence and soul of their organization. As Bouchikhi and Kimberly rightly observe, "Ask a senior executive what it means to change a firm's identity, and he or she will most likely talk about redesigning the logo and visual materials and, occasionally, changing the company's name."

The logo and imaging stuff is easy when you know who you are. It's much more difficult when you don't. "Corporate identity change or rebranding is analogous to changing an individual's appearance by changing the clothing or makeup the person wears, cosmetic surgery, and, in extreme cases, by changing the individual's name."

In contrast, real identity transformation "reaches much deeper, to the heart and soul of an individual, and does not necessarily require altering the individual's appearance." The authors continue, "Although the two types of change may sometimes support each other," it's important that surface-level change and deeper change are not transposable prescriptions.

It's definitely OK to update the skins (logo, colors, etc.) of the organization, but it can't be done without the deeper soul in full view at all times during change.


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Comments

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Posted by: sandhya s shigwan at July 29, 2008 10:17 AM