Hello earthlings! This time the reason for my post is not related to a task or anything. It is just me, wanting to share my opinions with you guys. YAY! This week I was all ears to find a new subject for my blog post and luckily this week’s subject came from my all-time favourite brand, BURBERRY.
If you skim through various sources, you will see that most of them describe Burberry as “Iconic” and “British”. The brand is so iconic that if you look up the real meaning of the word “Burberry”, you will see this definition below;
“A kind of lightweight belted raincoat, typically beige in colour, with a distinctive tartan lining.”
Well, this is basically the definition of a trench coat and trench coats are what Burberry is globally famous for. Established in 1856, Burberry has been using the “Equestrian Knight” symbol since 1901 and using the same logotype for 20 years.
At the beginning of this week though, Burberry has announced that the brand will continue its existence with a new logo designed by Peter Saville. The announcement is made by Riccardo Tisci, Chief Creative Officer of Burberry. The brand also revealed a new and very kitsch pattern design that will either take the place of the equestrian knight symbol or the distinctive Burberry tartan or more terribly, both.
Okay, I know this is going to be pretty cheesy but what the hell, a brand is a promise guys… And what does this mean? It means that you give your word to your customers in regards to the quality of your products and services. It is like an invisible pact between you and your customers. You have your sign under this pact, which is basically your logo as a brand. Do you think people would change their signatures after 20 years? Nah, I don’t think so. As long as they haven’t done anything wrong. Did Burberry do anything wrong? I mean, other than burning its unsold products?
Keep Your Promise, Always
As a customer, I can openheartedly tell you that Burberry is one of my love brands. I always had excellent experiences with Burberry products and services. I know it is a brand that I can trust, I know I will be able to use their products for ages. Burberry has a brand reputation probably way more stronger than any other English brand.
Burberry’s founder Thomas Burberry was the inventor of gabardine. At first, he was actually employed by the British Army and was responsible for designing suitable coats for wet weathers. Most of the Burberry products including the trench coats still have this military feeling. This is one of the reasons what makes the brand LEGENDARY.
The strongest trait that the brand represents for ages is being British. Probably, none of the other British brands leaves this impression on the customers. The brand uses English celebrities in order to promote its products such as Emma Watson or Kate Moss. We often see the Royals in Burberry outfits as well including the Queen herself. This gives a TRADITIONAL feeling to Burberry products.
Burberry does not produce fast fashion products or irrationally creative pieces that no one would really wear in their daily lives like many of its competitors such as Dolce Gabbana, Gucci, or Versace (Sorry guys I never really liked you). Burberry outfits always have this classy and elegant look. The look that you will get with a Burberry trench coat never gets old. That is exactly what makes Burberry products TIMELESS.
I am sorry if I sound like I am telling Burberry people what their brand essence is, but hey it seems like they are unaware of this stuff.
Mind The Gap
Why on earth a brand like Burberry would change its signature after all those years? Is there anything wrong with that? Is it not recognizable? When it comes to Burberry I don’t think any of this is the real reason. Instead, the font was so unique and the symbol strengthened the elegant British image of the brand. I mean I can understand adding little touches in time, but changing the complete characteristics of a well-known logo just doesn’t make any sense.
This attempt by Burberry did not get any positive comments from the company’s followers on Instagram either. It is such a shame that even customers seem more aware of the brand’s heritage more than the brand itself.
Although not a Burberry competitor, another fashion brand, GAP has changed its logo in 2010. I don’t know if any of you remembers the case, but GAP’s new logo was also a failure and the brand changed its logo back to the old version within only 7 days after harshly criticised by their customers.
While searching for some sources about GAP case, I have found this BBC article that includes marketing expert Craig Smith’s comments on logo changes. I couldn’t help myself to share them with you guys since I agree with him a hundred per cent.
“Where marketers often go wrong is they think they have identified an opportunity for the brand to evolve and become something else, become more modern, and they think they can shortcut this by changing the visual identity, and carry the customers with them.
“It’s a fundamental error because customers may not be ready to go with you. The product positioning has to change first, then the logo should be the last thing.”
Just think about it people. If we needed all brands to “modernize” their logos, then Coca-Cola logo would be written in Helvetica as well. And in that case, the brand world would be colourless and dull. Such as this new Burberry logo. As it is said in one of the Instagram comments above, “you could write any company name in those letters“. The company is losing its soul with this attempt and it is not good. While they still have the time, they should definitely change back to normal.
Briefly, here is my open letter to Burberry:
I personally do not want that chubby font or that hideous pattern on any of my outfits, and sadly I do not see anything ‘genius’ about that new logo design of yours. Please see the GAP example above and change your logo back to normal so that I can continue using your products forever and ever. Just remember that you are Burberry, you are iconic, and you do not need any modernization at all. At the end of the day, we are all dying to have a Burberry trench coat, aren’t we? And Tisci dear, you might be the right person for some other brands, but obviously, you are not even close to being right for my dearest Burberry. If you resign, I will not shed a tear for sure.