ev•o•lu•tion – a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development.
There are a number of global companies that over a period of decades have evolved their branding to keep them looking fresh and current while retaining their core values.
Look at BP, which radically changed its logo in 2000 from the shield to a sunburst of yellow and green. The original shield logo was a result of an in-house competition, won by a Mr Saunders in the purchasing department. It took BP 10 years to nail down what colours should be used.
Shell is another good example. In 1900 it initially used a black and white mussel shell, which changed just four years later to an equally monochrome scallop shell. It wasn’t until 1948 that the company started using the colours we recognise today. You can read the history of the logo here; it makes interesting reading.
One of my first jobs when I joined Castle Trust in April 2011 was to introduce a brand and just like BP’s it’s still evolving.
After both internal and external research, we had some keywords to guide a branding agency. They contained words such as innovative, fair, supportive, easy to understand, smart, bold, reliable, professional, risk-averse, trustworthy and transparent.
The results you can see on the Castle Trust website and literature is just the start of the journey.
But there’s a difference between branding and brand. In today’s society there has to be an acknowledgement that a company can’t completely control its brand. The branding elements we can control (logos, colours, typefaces), but in the digital era the actual brand will be defined by consumer experience and the connected masses. That’s why we are committed to living up to the keywords above otherwise the brand will never live up to the promise of the branding.
As a start-up, we have a number of milestones still to come, for example authorisation by the FSA, and just like BP and Shell, the branding and brand will evolve along with these achievements.
As you can probably tell from the above, I’m passionate not only about branding but also the company I work for. I’m looking forward to many years of evolving the brand.