Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spin Your Wheels

Sometimes, you just have to think of it as a job.

The client has a very cumbersome and limiting name. Trouble is, they've been known by this mouthful of a name since 1945. At first, I suggested a simple shortening of the current name, keeping the main element that people know them by. A change was necessary, I argued, but a drastic change would likely alienate a large portion of their base. (Sorry, I'm being vague by necessity.) We were asked to come up with some alternatives. We submitted many, as did a naming/branding company that was paid tens of thousands of dollars. Naturally, the client wanted to see logos and taglines. Same deal. At least a hundred logos. At least 300 tags for the various name possibilities. They kept saying, "Use this word in the tagline. Use this element in the logo. No, give me a synonym for that word. I want to see this in another color."

Last night they held a board meeting in which the final few names would be narrowed down to a winner. After eight months and countless man hours, they elected to shorten their old name.

A colossal waste of time, or just how it works as people justify their bloated salaries and unnecessary positions? Maybe the process was required to show them that they already have an established brand.

Now that a name has been finalized, I expect to be involved in at least 30 meetings where we will listen to a dozen groups of unqualified people assess logos and taglines as they toss around the word "branding" as if they knew what it meant. I'm so looking forward to this.

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  • Ugh--focus groups! You know they're just going to take 3 words from the first concept, 3 from the second, and the logo from the third.

    With changes, of course.

    By Blogger Teenie, at August 19, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

  • Committees and associations love to belabor common sense and kill good creative. It's their “comfort zone.”

    Be sure to bill every hour and six-minute increment for those 30 meetings.

    By Anonymous ruthlessmind, at August 19, 2009 at 11:56 PM  

  • up side: you're not hanging off the back of a truck or snaking other people's sewer lines. Except in a metaphorical sense.

    By Blogger James-H, at August 21, 2009 at 1:30 AM  

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