Sunday, May 31, 2009

Published: May 30, 2009

When I saw this article in the Sunday New York Times I knew I had to share it with our community. Developing intellectual property (IP) strategies to secure market positions is critical and must be an early part of the planning process. This is a key component of our class on Implementing Growth Strategies being given this coming December.(

This article focuses on the importance of corporate logos, one component of an IP strategy, in conveying a critical message either business-to-consumer or business-to-business:

“Behold the new breed of corporate logo — non-threatening, reassuring, playful,
even child-like. Not emblems of distant behemoths, but faces of friends.
“A logo is to a company what a face is to a person,” said Michel Tuan Pham, a
professor of marketing at the Columbia Business School. “It’s hard to memorize
facts about a person when you only know their name but you haven’t seen their
face.” So logos remind consumers about companies’ traits and pluck at emotions — “the glue that ties all the information about the brand name together,” Mr. Pham

TONED-DOWN TYPE Bold, block capital letters are out. Their
replacements are mostly or entirely lower case, softening the stern voice of
corporate authority to something more like an informal chat.
“Logos have become less official-looking and more conversational,” said Patti Williams, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “They’re not yelling. They’re inviting. They’re more neighborly.”

I chose two examples from the article (the second trademark is the new one for Wal-Mart and Kraft Foods):

The following appeared in Kraft’s press release describing their new corporate direction which serves as he underpinning of their new logo:

"With a new purpose and values setting a fresh direction, Kraft Foods also gave
its corporate logo a facelift to more clearly deliver “delicious.” Starting
today, people around the world will begin to see the new identity that
deliciously features a smile, the natural reaction to delicious foods and
experiences, and a colorful flavor burst. It signals to employees, consumers and
investors what the new Kraft Foods is all about."

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