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Retail Rebranding: Simplicity Rules

Friday, November 12th, 2010

This is part 3 of 10 in a series by Craig Carl, SVP Creative Director, The Integer Group.

Mediocrity versus excellence may seem like a clear choice, but the answer isn’t obvious. Sometimes a mediocre idea, well implemented, can trump a great idea poorly executed. Maintaining consistency and conviction at every level is the baseline for all great retail work.

Target’s use of their iconic logo has been consistently reinforced over years. Initially the only place the bull’s-eye mark appeared was on billing inserts. Target’s logo design was and is a mediocre symbol in an expected color combination. The inventive use of that same mark over the last 13 years has been brilliant.

I am not advocating that we dumb down our best thinking. But an assessment of time, budget and resources weighed against the desired creative solution can avoid a train wreck of excellent ideas badly implemented. Ask yourself: if your goal is to match Apple’s brand formula, are you willing to completely redesign your product, store, packaging, advertising, marketing and employee training? This is an unrealistic starting point for most rebranding campaigns.

Maintaining simplicity is often a challenge because the nature of every creative person who touches your brand will be to tweak it. They may even be right in what they are suggesting, but the ultimate effect can result in visual clutter.

A brilliant idea that is doomed to die because lack of support, funding, scale or timing ceases to be brilliant. A clichéd, uninspired idea, delivered with conviction at every consumer touch point, can produce results. But brilliant ideas delivered with consistency and conviction produces retail legends.

Next Week, Retail Rebranding: You Forgot To Move The Bodies!

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