Your brand isn’t your logo, though many people wrongly think they’re interchangeable. What does it mean to change your logo? Here’s the last of three stories about three organisations that think they know.
3. Crystal Palace FC
So the Eagles are under new ownership. And, given that co-chair Steve Parish made his millions from marketing, it’s perhaps not surprising that he’s thinking of changing the club badge.
The CPFC2010 consortium have done the best thing: they have started to talk to the fans about it. Steve Parish has gone onto the supporters’ website, cpfc.org, to say that he’s not sure that the badge should continue to feature the Crystal Palace building that burned down nearly 74 years ago.
Cue much heated (though polite – the CPFC2010 guys are still in a huge honeymoon period with the fans) discussion. Palace fans seem to love the current logo, though the public as a whole tend to be quite conservative anyway when it comes to this kind of thing. Many people will wheel out cliches about things not being broken and questioning fixing them.
(Although it is worth noting, the week after Malcolm Allison passed away, that Palace have only been nicknamed the Eagles since Big Mal made the switch from the Glaziers in the 1970s, and the current badge dates back to the mid-1990s when then owner Ron Noades decided that the old eagle looked too much like a phoenix and needed to be redrawn.)
Palace fans include among their number marketers, branding specialists, general business people – and, consumers. CPFC2010’s policy of speaking openly and often to the fan base includes focus groups on various issues the minutes of which are published, giving the detail of what can and can’t be changed at the club and why certain decisions are made. The result is that the fans feel really involved – they know what is needed for their beloved club to survive – and they debate among themselves intelligently and in detail the challenges faced by the new owners.
Result? Proper, tested crowdsourcing. Compare against Gap’s attempts. Whatever new badge Palace introduce, it will have been built and tested by Palace supporters for Palace supporters and for people who aren’t yet Palace supporters but could be. At a time when football fans are increasingly divided into armchair supporters of big clubs and self-styled ‘real’ fans who find modern football abhorrent, what could be a better way of explaining what Palace are all about?