Really interesting bits about branding and public relations - by Stanley Hurwitz

June 10, 2016 - Front Section
Stanley Hurwitz, Creative Communications Stanley Hurwitz, Creative Communications

When it comes to branding, your business wants prospective customers to instantly recognize your name – maybe even your logo without the name. You want to plant a subconscious seed in their brain, make them have positive thoughts about your product or service – and buy from you. You want people to yearn the way dogs salivated when Pavlov rang a bell. Among the more successful iconic logos that really need no accompanying text to make you think of them: Target, Nike, Shell, Mercedes, Apple, HP, Pepsi.

Google changed its logo. Did you notice? In late 2015, Google updated its 1999 logo. To most, the 5-colorful letter logo looks the same, but the new one is a sans serif typeface (no little tips on each letter.) It’s supposed to symbolize change and the future - using something safe, not too dramatic. Also, a successful logo must work in all mediums: website, business cards, signs, smartphones, pens, jackets, TV and print ads. Google used their in-house staff so the redesign was free. Pepsi paid $1 million in 2008 to update their patriotic circle logo. In 2001, BP (formerly British Petroleum) got their new yellow and green bursting sun logo for $211 million! Really. If your business needs a new logo, plan on spending $100 to $10,000.

Why does Scripps sponsor a spelling bee? In 1925, nine papers sponsored a national spelling bee. In 1941, the E. W. Scripps newspaper company (now a multi-media empire) bought full rights. They recognized the PR value, having students from across the U.S. compete, everyone buzzing about the Bee. Each year, thousands of kids compete in local bees with local sponsors (an idea for your company?). You can’t put a value on the goodwill and business Scripps gains from this respected educational program. It’s also profitable. Kindle is one national sponsor. And now it’s big-time -- Top prize: $40,000! Final rounds for the 285 contestants were carried on ESPN.

Why is the NBA adding company logos to team uniforms? In the 2017-18 season, NBA player jerseys will sport sponsor logo patches. Each team is selling its own sponsorship while the league already has a Nike deal. The patches just 2.5” squares, will generate $150 million.  Why? Besides the new revenue stream, industry bigwigs say people are watching less live television and fewer commercials, so the patches will be there when you play games back on your DVR. Your creative columnist has advocated for marketing campaigns to help keep costs down and branding up, selling ads on school buses, emergency vehicles, postal trucks, even on the backs of stamps. Need some clever PR/Marketing? I know someone you should talk to.

Stanley Hurwitz, principal of Stanley Hurwitz / Creative Communications, Stoughton, Mass.



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