Pumped up kicks.

October 24, 2011

Sometime last week you may have noticed that Vancity is sporting some fancy new kicks. Well, word on the street is that the new look is the result of their recent efforts to refocus their brand. The result? Make Good Money™.

The largest credit union in Canada has more than 415,000 members and has gained recognition for its corporate social responsibility and community involvement. Through their last rebrand emerged the common theme of intersections.

“This is a visual reminder that Vancity journeys down the whole road of life with members and staff. Intersections represent the emotional and financial turning points in our members’ lives, where Vancity applies its key skills and services”.

The result was a rotation of the V in the wordmark and crossing them to create an intersection, and the accompanying gradients of colour were intended to represent the spectrum of services available.

The shiny new brand direction is meant to increase awareness of their commitment to member wealth through competitive products and services, as well as financial literacy education.

“The twist is how they make member money work; Vancity makes smart investments in their communities – loans to local businesses, support to community projects – with a focus on affordable housing, local, natural and organic food, and the environment and energy efficiency. The result: members meet their financial goals; their communities thrive; which means each member is even better off. In short, Vancity’s approach is game-changing”.

The result is a look that features imagery of members engaging in every day activities across the lower mainland and Vancouver island. The use of popular local landmarks like the Grouse Mountain Skyride and Skytrain contribute to givwe it all the feeling of a scrapbook that tells the Vancity story, complete with paper cut-out journaling. The result is less polished, and less bright, but very relatable. Watch the new commercial.

Then tell us if you prefer the oldie-but-goodie standbys, or the new pumped up kicks Vancity is sporting.

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Digg a little deeper.

October 15, 2010

Remember when Toys R Us launched their new logo? The letters were changed in spacing and colour, the quotation marks around the backwards R were dropped, and the star graphic changed so that it no longer surrounded the R. At the time they were going through a rebranding process, giving their retail locations a facelift and refreshing their product line-up. 

However, as this article on EveryJoe.com points out, the rebrand alone wasn’t enough to bring the retailer back into good light with customers who had been chased away by their crowded stores that were difficult to navigate, and rated badly in customer service. Toys R Us had acquired a reputation as the store that used to be the go-to place and used to be a one-stop shop for almost anything a kid could want. So while Toys R Us had freshened up their logo, many speculated that putting a fresh coat of paint on the surface wouldn’t be enough to cover up other deficiencies. 

dugg this article because it made me reflect on the difference between marketing and good marketing. This blog is all about going beyond a colourful brochure or a pretty website, to examine the foundation of a sound strategy, one that will seek out your target audience and pull them out of the consumer mix. Could you say the same about your marketing efforts?

How many times have you been caught ticking off the generic checklist of things to be done when a product is brought to market or a campaign launched? Perhaps you were working with tight budget restrictions? Or you got caught in the “this is how we always do it” vortex? Or maybe there was pressure on you from management for a quick fix? For these reasons many a marketer has found themselves hoping that the fabulous new creative they just launched brings in some fabulous results. And as many have learned, this isn’t enough.

Too often marketers address the low hanging fruit, sprucing up what’s easy and not especially time-consuming. Refresh the logo, change-up the webpage, or task the agency with developing a new ad, but leave the more challenging tasks such as market research and strategic goal setting for another day. An article like this one reminds us to take a step back and look at the brand as a whole and the accompanying strategic plan. With a big picture approach and strong foundation we can then identify innovative and creative ways to engage the target audience, unafraid to test something new until greater results are realized in the long-term.