the grass is greener on the internet


Copycat Coles
October 18, 2009, 5:49 pm
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It’s becoming a game of ‘spot the difference’.

There’s some mentality that the moment your main competitor does something, you’ve got to do what they did.

When that something is ‘make lots of money and use it to completely change the layout of their stores’, it’s a bit more difficult.

One, it’s expensive. Two, they’re going to have a massive headstart on you.

So sometime when Woolworths was having their consultation with Hans Hulsbosch and started rolling out their new corporate identity, Coles was having a chat (with McKinsey, if the rumours are true) about its own identity crisis.

Lo and behold, a new store layout!

This humble observer would like to present to you what’s new, what looks suspiciously similar and where Coles might be breaking from the mould.

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We all scream for…corporate identity
September 7, 2008, 1:21 pm
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The simplest, and one of the most effective branding efforts would have to be Haagen-Dazs.

The logo’s simple, classic – that understated look which says ‘we don’t need to try, because we’re just good’. (Sorry, Avis.) It’s quite traditional, embodying the brand. The focus is on the name, which to a non-European sounds like it could perhaps be, say, Swiss. Those Swiss people live in cold places, they must make good ice-cream, right?

Well, ask any Haagen-Dazs fan. And they won’t be able to tell you, because the company was actually started in the US by a Polish immigrant. Not that you could really tell from their official company history, which is brilliantly brand-centric and well-written to boot.

The only part I don’t like is their use of the phrase ‘frozen dessert experiences’. It’s very technically accurate for their range, and highlights that want to sell not just a product but an experience. However I think it’s just that – too technical. People list that they like ice-cream. They don’t tell their friends they just had an amazing frozen dessert experience. If your branding is executed well, the experience should be self-evident. (Even if you’re picking it out from between the beer and the juice in 7-11 at a drunken 4am.) 

I love that they’ve gone that extra step to preserve their brand, and have registered ‘made like no other’. More than insurance for their brand, it shows that they’re willing to put money behind their key brand proposition.

I guess though, the most important and telling sign that they believe in their brand proposition is that their ice-cream is amazing.

Perhaps then then some of the worst branding is Made in Poland. Isn’t it ironic that they need to pretend to be from another country to be recognised for how good they are?

[Realising that Haagen-Dazs is American was all that could beat the shock that Tod’s is Italian…now that is confusing.]