Seems Xerox has again re-invented itself.
The headline to it’s press release as posted on the CreativePro site reads: Xerox Unveils Biggest Change to its Brand in Company History. Click here if you want to read the entire article, but promise to come back for the comments below.
First just enough of the release to put things in perspective:
“We have transformed Xerox into a business that connects closely with customers in a content-rich digital marketplace,” said Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer. “Our new brand reflects who we are, the markets we serve and the innovation that differentiates us in our industry. We have expanded into new markets, created new businesses, acquired new capabilities, developed technologies that launched new industries — all to ensure we make it easier, faster, and less costly for our customers to share information.”
The new Xerox logo is now a lowercase treatment of the Xerox name – in a vibrant red – alongside a sphere-shaped symbol sketched with lines that link to form an illustrative “X,” representing Xerox’s connections to its customers, partners, industry and innovation, and designed to be more effectively animated for use in multi-media platforms.
“Our brand is one of our most prized assets and the value it brings to our business is immeasurable,” added Ursula M. Burns, president, Xerox. “Our customers, our employees and our shareholders connect the most with what the brand stands for — quality, innovation, customer-focus and a values-rich culture. Today, we’re strengthening all our attributes and giving our brand a contemporary look that is more relevant for business today – a bit less formal, a lot more lively with links to our heritage and a nod to the future.”
All the above to introduce a new logo?
Though it is attractive and moderately modern, I’m not sure that a logo change has actually changed the Xerox brand. Brand is much more than a logo, and even a great logo cannot possibly symbolize or even hint at the many attributes Ms. Mucahy and Ms. Burns ascribe to it.
A new logo can signal intent. It can symbolize a change in the way Xerox presents and conducts it business. It can even produce some buzz in the media.
But the Xerox brand, or any brand for that matter, is primarily build through relationships, or as the people at Prophet management consultancy put it, touchpoints, with stakeholders. A new logo will not erase images and perceptions of the “old” Xerox, nor will it replace even ancient experiences with the company’s products, people and policies.
In the Xerox leaders’ quotes I sense they’re not sure just what their brand is. Oh, I suspect they really know but their PR people probably felt they had to “dumb-down” their language. And then they had to introduce some hype to get some press coverage.
I know, I’m being cynical.
But a new logo all by itself can’t be the “Biggest Change to its Brand in Company History”. For me, this “new era” for Xerox just started out on the wrong foot.