Three very big Indian brands have gone for a makeover. Godrej, Shopper's Stop and Ceat. Before I get into a long rhetoric on these individually, I think except Godrej, Shopper's Stop and Ceat have got it wrong.
Godrej Industries Ltd.
Godrej has added colors to it age old logo. Shoppers' Stop and Ceat have completely changed their looks. Also, Shoppers' Stop says "Change is Good" and Ceat says "Change is here". I wonder if both these have been created by same team?
Godrej the behemoth that sells everything from shoe polish to animal feed to almirahs to locks to lavish food for rich to real estate to a lot of things unimaginable has got a new look. They did not do anything drastic. They retained their logo. Added some animation, color and jazz to it. As a customer I love what they have done. For me I have grown up in house where we had tons of Godrej almirahs and locks and for me Godrej means trust. Is the new look enhancing that? No it does not but it gives me a sense that owners are trying to reinvent the old company and are committed about it. And since And are they doing it because a Godrej Properties is planning to come with its IPO?
Coming on to Shopper's Stop, its is a chain of premium retail megastores. They sell clothes, accessories and other fancy things that riches and the great Indian middle class buys. In fact they are amongst the first players in Indian retail industry to have experimented with large format stores and organized retailing. Their earlier logo and identity was very classy by Indian standards and for the last 10 odd years that logo has been itched in the minds of the customers. It had everything a premium brand's logo should have - curves, stars, symmetry. It was very very appealing.The new logo is anything but premium and yet is a good piece of work on a stand alone basis. But moment you compare it with older logo (and comparison is inevitable), it looks dull. It looks like someone has stepped back in time. To start with it is plain text in a font that can be used by anyone and everyone. A plain text logo could have been good if you added colors, gradients or other elements to break the clutter (hint Godrej). But that too is missing. I think they wanted more serious and elegant look for the brand and the logo has failed to deliver that. I would say this was created by an amateur designer trying random text layouts.
I have no clue what warranted the need for a change in logo. I understand that Shoppers' Stop is coming up with an IPO but did it require a change in look?
Ceat is one of the oldest tyre manufactures in the country. Its a publicly traded company and although I have not had any interactions with their business (never purchased a ceat product), have heard a lot about them. The new logo looks like a half baked pie. Its like work in progress and first time I saw it, I could not relate it to the type manufacturer. When I read the headline, that was the time I realized that it was ceat they were talking about.
As a customer and as an observer, I like their earlier logo better. It had a meaning to it. I could see a rhino and I could conjure an image of a vehicle running on a ceat tyre negotiating hard curves. The new look might also have a road (the E looks like a road with a divider) but it fails to conjure any kind of imagery. Is there a trend in design houses to move towards plain text fonts with minimal use of colors? Or both Shoppers Stop and Ceat have been done by the same agency with a Creative Decision Maker believing that plain text is good and we should talk about change to go along with that?
Its often said an organization is as good as the decision makers it has. I dont really think design teams for both Shoppers Stop and Ceat have done their homework and tried to design a contemporary look. And they should consider the fact that people do not buy products or services. They buy and consume brands. And brand is something that makes the decision process for the consumer simpler. Not more complex by creating conflicting images in their minds.
Design, Advertising and financial markets may sound very different but there is indeed some kind of a relationship. Any more IPOs or redesigns coming up .. ?
P.S.: All the comments are not from an aesthetic point of view. I am hardly a person who has good design sense. I am talking from the perspective of a customer. I have tried to think how would a customer feel when he is interacting with a brand that is supposed to be premium.
All three companies trade on the stock exchanges and I own certain number of shares of Godrej Industries ltd. I might or might not choose to buy/sell these shares.
And I just realized that I am indeed passionate about brands and way consumers think abut brands. As a very good friend would say .. "Aha" moment of the day !
Tags: IPO, Indian Financial Markets, Godrej, Ceat, Shopper's Stop, Retail, India, Design, Logo, Re-design, Advertising, Marketing, Branding.