The Shell brand started out as a small London business selling antiques, curios and oriental shells. I feel this gave the idea behind the brand’s name and its visual identity system, specifically the logo design because in time the business grew to export these seashells to the Far East and made profit doing so. The first time the word ‘shell’ was cited was in 1891, when it was used by Marcus Samuel and Company (the original founders) as the business trademark in the shipment of kerosene to the Far East. We would not do justice to this article if we skip Shell brand’s influence – also enhanced by its visual identity system -in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The brand’s history in Nigeria began as far back as when oil was first discovered at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta region. In fact, this discovery was made by Shell-BP in 1956. Shell is a major stakeholder in the country’s oil and gas sector with a history of over 50 years of doing business in Nigeria since the late 1930’s. According to Shell on its website,
“For more than 100 years the word Shell, our pectin emblem and distinctive red and yellow colours have visualized the Shell brand and promoted our values and the quality of our products and services all over the world.”
This spells our focus for today’s article – Shell’s logo unravel. There is more to the shell’s emblem than meets the eye especially concerning its essence in promoting shell’s values, product and service quality and visualizing the shell brand globally.
Shell’s first logo was designed in 1901 carrying the symbol of a mussel shell. This happened the third year after the formation of the Shell Transport and Trading Company. Thereafter in 1904, a scallop shell also called the pecten emblem was debuted to give the company a brand name and its visual identity. When the afore-mentioned company formed a merger with the Royal Dutch petroleum company three years later, the former absorbed the pecten symbol and the brand name – Shell. The Logo having the pecten emblem and brand name has been like this since then.
However, the shell emblem has undergone a series of modifications in its design; the emblem design used presently was introduced in 1971. Finally, in 1995, the Shell logo underwent its final modification when the logo colours were dimmed. Prior to this time, its colours were very bright and some felt it made the logo look offensive. Therefore, the present design looks more appealing to the eyes. With over 47 years of great usefulness to the brands visual identity, it has grown to be one of the most popularly recognized logo in the world today.
The primary colours of the shell logo is red and yellow. These colours were preferred because of their connection to the Spanish flag since many of the people who settled in California migrated from Spain especially because; during Shell’s formative years, California was its central business region. The red colour gives the emblem a colourful look.
The font used specifically for the brand name element typography is the Futura Bold typeface.
The logo symbol represents the pecten shell which also names the brand – shell. The logo portrays excellence and brilliance of Shell in the corporate world. In addition to this, the logo emblem apart from symbolizing the Pectin shell, it also takes the shape of a crown; signifying Shell’s position as a leader in the oil and gas Industry.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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Unilever is unarguably one of the prominent brands that has added value and impacted the world through its numerous products. If you take stock of the products you use ranging from tea to detergent, bath soaps, seasoning cubes, and so on, you are very likely to discover that Unilever is very much present in your home.
Particularly in Nigeria, most of Unilever’s products are recognised leaders in their various market segments since they have become preferred and trusted brand in the heart of a great number of consumers. With over 400 brands under its umbrella in more than 190 countries, Unilever has strategically stamped its name in the sands of time and has become a legend as a consumer goods company. Follow through as we explore the different aspects of this universal brand.
Unilever’s purposeful journey started as far back as 1800 as a merger of many small family businesses. The company leveraged different commodities starting from butter the Jurgens started in 1860 in the Netherlands. In 1927, the company merged with another thriving butter company owned by a Dutch family, Van den Bergh. Together they worked to develop and trade a new product, which we know as margarine, a more affordable substitute for butter. Their business was called Margarine Unie.
In 1884, William Lever who started his business under the name, Lever Brothers, had produced a new soap he named Sunlight. This distinctive soap, made up of copra or palm kernel oil had the ability to lather easily unlike the soap brands before it. To add to its uniqueness, Sunlight was packaged differently and eventually became one of the first brands to gain visibility through advertisement. These adverts were done using creative mediums such as small cards inserted into soap packaging, featuring the Sunlight brand in cartoon drawings or calendars.
The Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie merged in September 1929 to form Unilever. In a bid to increase their market options, in 1943, Unilever acquired T. J. Lipton, Batchelors Peas, and then Pepsodent in 1944.
Moving forward, the company launched new products and acquired more companies like the British-based Lipton Ltd, Brooke Bond, the maker of PG Tips tea, Chesebrough-Ponds the maker of one of their popular brands, Vaseline. It also acquired the enterprise Ben and Jerry, Slim Fast, Knorr, Hellmann’s and a whole lot of others. These acquisitions have all combined to make Unilever the empire it is today.
While Unilever was deepening its root overseas, it also launched its brands in Africa in 1923. In that year, Robert Hesketh Leverhulme started his trading business under the name, Lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd in Nigeria. The business focused mainly on soap trade and subsequently in 1925 opened a factory in Apapa. The company’s name was changed to Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited in 1955 and while it expanded to food products, another factory was launched in Aba in 1958.
After the introduction of Omo detergent in 1960, Lever Brothers got more attention as it met the need of many consumers. This achievement led to the commissioning of a manufacturing factory, in 1964, for the Omo brand. Unilever became a publicly listed company in 1973, due to the indigenisation decree made in 1972. This saw the company selling 60% of its shares to the Nigerian public making it a Nigerian owned company.
The company continued to broaden its range of products and began to source for its raw materials locally. In order to achieve their new venture, the company invested in crop production, oil palm milling and tea plantation. In 1995, Unilever merged with Unilever Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Unilever U.K. This merger gave Unilever a certain level of control in the Nigerian market. However, in 2001, the company was changed to Unilever Nigeria Plc. Since then, the company has continued to evolve and expand.
Unilever is a purpose driven brand that has operated with a clear vision which is basically to make sustainable living commonplace. This vision has transcended in all aspects of their operations
In every region, Unilever combines its multinational expertise with local cultures in order to blend with consumers. This way it continues to penetrate deep into its target market. Its long-term strategic choices range from an active portfolio management, a focused approach to innovation, investment in digital marketing. Adding to this, they have employed consistency, competitiveness in innovations, profitable improvement, and social responsibility as their major market strategies.
Unilever operates with simple core values such as;
- Integrity and
Unilever has some sets of clear priorities, which guides its campaigns and operations;
- A better future for children
- A healthier future
- A more confident future
- A better future for the planet
- A better future for farming and farmers
Unilever has proven to be a people centred brand from its approach of executing its operations from manufacturing, down to distribution. It seeks for the healthiest alternatives when producing its products.
One visible way they have made impact over the years is by initiating transformational change in the society through ending of deforestation, improving the quality of water people use, heading agricultural enhancement programs, increasing sanitation and hygiene, training small holders to farm sustainably, and women empowerment etc. They have accomplished most of these projects through partnership with government and NGOs
For its quality and consistency in pursuing its purpose, the brand has received several recognition, which include:
No.1Top spot in the Personal Products sector of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index
No.1 Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 Globe Scan/Sustain Ability annual survey
‘A’ Grade for Climate Change, Water, Forests and Supplier Engagement in CDP’s 2018 Global Supply Chain report.
With its wealth of experience, in depth market strategy and clear vision, Unilever will continue to be an acceptable and remarkable brand.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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If we compile all the names of different enterprises in this world, they could sum up to over a billion. The whole word could seem too farfetched so let us bring it home; walking along a busy road here in Nigeria, there is a high probability you would see at least twenty different names of businesses at every turn of your neck. Though each of these twenty try to make a statement of their own, only a handful, if at all any, will succeed in communicating with you.
Bringing it further down to your neighbourhood, can you remember all the names of the little shops on your street even after residing there for many years? The answer is likely a no! You might put the blame on your memory or accuse yourself of not paying attention to details. The truth remains; the names of these little shops did not leave an impression on you and could not register in your mind.
However, the light bulb in your brain practically turns up when you hear names like MTN, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Indomie, Microsoft, DSTV, Toyota, Samsung, Google, SPAR, TOTAL, etc. You might conclude that these are big brands that are well recognised. Yes, this is true but do not forget that they were not as big as they are when they started. The difference is the names of these popular brands have continued to speak loudly for everyone one to hear.
Choosing a business name is an imperative criteria for any enterprise and it is not as simple as you may think. Merely picking a name that sounds good to your ears might not be a wise business choice. Deciding on a business name requires a lot of brainstorming and deep research in your chosen market. It demands you devote quality time defining each term you wish to use to ensure it connects with your business or the kind of brand you want to build.
You may be asking why you should go through so much stress for a brand name and fail to realise one fact, a business name, in most cases, is the first thing potential clients would meet before they encounter the owner. The name of a business becomes its identity and carries the brand’s message. It is the voice that gently calls out to customers beckoning on them to patronise the business. Now let’s look at a few steps you could take to give your business name a voice.
Firstly, do not think you know it all, consult professionals. Most people consider consultation a waste of time and money, and move straight into making decisions that end up marring all their efforts. With the right strategic advice and plan from a professional, you can be sure that every aspect of your brand will stand out from the crowd.
Secondly go for a name that is easy to remember. Simple names stick longer in the minds of people and communicate to them better. So avoid any name that is too complicated and hard to remember. Also, before you settle for any name, do a proper check to ensure no other company has used that name before.
Thirdly, add some creativity to the name that leaves people curious to the name. Don’t mistaken plainness for simplicity. Keeping your business name, short and simple doesn’t mean you should go for a plain name that literally gives your business away or sounds too mundane. Depending on the nature of your intended business or brand personality, you could also introduce a little mystery to the name that stirs up curiosity in the minds of people.
Lastly, be certain the services or products your business offers lives up to its name. It is not enough to have a brilliant name and then deliver poorly. Customers will always link your business name to the quality of your services. So whilst you have a striking business name, it could also have a bad reputation.
Extra Tip: A name is not merely about the alphabetic letters, but about the reputation, perception and values it represents.
With these simple steps and a strong publicity to increase the visibility of the business name, you can be rest assured that your brand will not just be in the minds of people, but also in their hearts.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Some logos make a statement and leave a lasting impression from just a single sight. There is just that distinctive thing about such logos. They have gone a long way to give the brand more visibility and recognition with the passing of time. Well you may be thinking its rocket science, but it’s simply the detailed and quality reasoning behind the logo that makes it stand out. One of those very distinctive and elegant logos is TOTAL’s.
TOTAL is a multinational oil and gas company founded in 1924 in France. It is considered as one of the “Big Six” oil companies in the world. At first the company was known as Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP). In 1954 the company initiated the word TOTAL which represents a brand of gasoline in the African continent and Europe introduced by CFP. Subsequently, in 1991, the company embraced the name TOTAL, making it the identity of its brand as a company.
This officially made TOTAL the flagship name of the prestigious Oil and Gas Company. Since then the brand has continued to enjoy steady recognition and acceptance from both stakeholders and customers all over the world. Hold on tight as we take a deep dive into the TOTAL logo.
From our research, which formed the basis for articles like Coca Cola and Toyota, so far we have observed that the logos of a good number of brands have evolved overtime. The reason for this sometimes is new logos are created to suit the brand’s new market position at every point in time. This is also the case for prestigious brand, TOTAL.
On one July 14 (Bastille Day), the “Super Carburant Total” brand was launched. It was the very first TOTAL logo that made a public appearance. The logo signifies the logo’s French nationality with the name TOTAL written in red letters against a white background between two blue triangles. When marketing operations expanded, TOTAL branded products were then introduced.
In 1955, the logo was transformed to a gas pump like logo. Again, this logo magnified the French theme, with a red flame on a blue circle against a white background.
What followed next was the blue-white-red symbol in 1963. It was soften and relatable and was often referred to as the “soap bar”.
Maintaining three colours, in 1970 the brand again felt the need to redesign its logo to indicate what the brand stood for. The new logo’s colours, the bolder characters and the structure in an horizontal manner expressed the stability and strength, unlike the previous logo with diagonal design indicating the martial spirit of conquest.
1982 saw the birth of a new trademark. It broadened the previous patriotic symbolism of France. The bright red colour represented strength and power while the blue stood for assertiveness and friendliness for the warm orange.
With the same spirit, in 1991-1992, the trademark block was revamped with more energetic lettering. The interior of the logo was made simpler while the rounded edges were replaced with sharper edges indicating a fiercer drive and also brighter colours. The horizontal lines were lighter and the space between letters were reduced and the stripes were narrower. This made the brand more accessible.
Finally in 2003, after a successful merger between PetroFina and Elf Aquitaine, the logo took an entirely new shape different from the previous ones. This new logo gave the brand a new identity which has registered strongly in most minds.
In 2003, as a way of adopting a name that would accommodate the two mergers between TOTAL and FINA in 1999 and TOTALFINA and ELF in 2000, the management decided to go with the TOTAL. This name was strategically chosen as one that would leave a lasting impression on consumers worldwide.
For the Group, the name TOTAL communicates the brand’s wider international visibility and recognition. Following this, a new logo had to be created to also represent what the brand stands for – one of which being the fact that the company pays close attention to the quality of products and services it offers its consumers. The company had to undergo total rebranding from picking a name to designing a new logo, both connecting and sharing the brand’s values.
Unlike the previous logos, the new logo is characterized by spherical elements with different colours. These elements express the company’s universal commitment in the energy field. These spherical elements signify exchanges of energy and human resources which further enhances international social and economic growth.
Defining the logo a bit more, the spherical symbol envelopes the image of multiple energy flows. This represents the different aspect the company deals in from oil, to gas, to electric energy and all other forms of alternative energy, such as solar and wind power. The logo shows the new market position TOTAL has taken as an energy Group and not streamlined to the oil it was known for. It constantly communicates its position as a symbol of energy through its logo.
The logo goes a long way to share TOTAL ideology about energy stating that energy arises not only from primary energy resources, but also from all of its human resources and, in particular, from all of the resources in the sphere of the Group’s industrial and commercial activities.
It can be observed that the TOTAL logo is one crafted by deep thinking which practically represents the brands totally.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Most children born from the eighties can attest to the fact that they have tasted the popular Kellogg’s cornflakes. For some, it even became the quickest breakfast their mothers could fix before they dashed off to school while for others it became their favourite go-to cereal whenever they were hungry.
Whichever the case, it is an undeniable fact that the impact of the Kellogg’s brand has been felt by many people and also in many homes. The brand’s consistency for more 100years now has strengthened its relevance, establishing it as a leading brand globally.
For the last century, the Kellogg Company has done business under the trademark, Kellogg’s. This American multinational food-manufacturing company has its headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. Kellogg’s is known for producing cereal and convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, and toaster pastries. Some of their most popular products that have become well-known brands include Corn Flakes, Keebler, and Cheez-It.
Follow through as we take a detailed ride through the rich qualities of this outstanding brand.
While trying to make granola, a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners, in 1898, W.K. Kellogg, and his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, mistakenly altered the process and flaked wheat berry. Not relenting, W.K. continued to experiment until he flaked corn, which gave birth to what we now know as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
Following his successful breakthrough, in 1906, W.K. Kellogg began his company, “Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company” and went ahead to hire 44 pioneering employees. Working closely with the founder, they created the first batch of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and fostered W.K.’s vision for great-tasting, better-for-you breakfast foods.
Kellogg’s, in 1914, took its first step towards expansion by introducing the flagship brand, Corn Flakes, to Canada. As time went by, the Kellogg Company spread its nourishing grains abroad, by commencing operations in countries like Australia, England, Mexico, Japan, India and etc.
In 1923, the Kellogg Company took another bold step and became the first in the food industry to hire a dietician, Mary Barber. Mary pioneered the Kellogg’s Home Economics Department and defined the roles different foods played in proper diets, thereby educating their consumers.
During the time the United States sunk into Depression, in 1930, W.K. Kellogg saw it as an opportunity to add value to more people with the campaign, “I’ll invest in people.” To achieve this, he created more shifts and hired new employees. He went on to start the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, whose mission — to help children realize their potential — is also in line with that of the Kellogg Company till date.
To increase its visibility, the company used the slogan “Kellogg’s puts more into your morning” on television shows on Saturday morning from 1968 to 1970.
As a result of spreading its grains, one of the soils it fell on is the Nigeria’s soil. Though it is yet to make huge harvest, the brand has gained tremendous recognition. On the 1st of December 2017, the joint venture of the reputable cereal maker, Kellogg’s and Singapore’s Tolaram Group, Kellogg’s-Tolaram Nigeria Limited, commissioned a 6 billion naira factory, with a capacity to produce 10,000 metric tonnes of cereals per year. This move has definitely put the Kellogg’s brand on another level since it can now produce its product here in Nigeria rather than importing it.
Having realised that breakfast is the most essential meal of the day, Kellogg’s has built its walls around this. “At Kellogg, we LOVE breakfast. To us it’s so much more than just a meal. We passionately believe in the power and promise that comes from eating the right breakfast. It’s the first fuel for our bodies—nourishing us for today, tomorrow and for life.”
From the simple and concise words, the company used to describe its vision, it is without a doubt the brand has established itself as an enriching brand, “To enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.”
Its purpose is simple but well defined, “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.”
The company sees its values as its DNA which could be interpreted to mean what runs through the entire organisation. Their values serve as a guide for every business transaction, their interaction amongst themselves and with the communities where they work. Here is a quick rundown of their values;
In Nigeria the Kellogg’s brand leverages;
- Partnership with the local production company, Tolaram and its distribution subsidiary.
- Assets provided by its partnership to produce high quality, low cost products in the region
- Brand recognition in order to gain market share in the mid-range and value channels.
THE BRAND’S SWOT ANALYSIS
- It has an existing supply chain
- It has well-known and experienced partners, locally and globally
- It has experience in handling new markets
- It has experienced low profit in recent years
- There has been a loss of market share to general mill
- New products must be developed to suit the Nigeria market.
- The Nigerian market is still an emerging one open to businesses of all kinds
- Landing new products would require low price
- As a foreign brand, a new product must be developed for the Nigeria market
- It has strong competitors like Nestle and Unilever.
- Its operation is capital intensive.
The company continues to uphold the values its founder, W.K. Kellogg, which was instilled over 100 years ago. Today their flaked corn is enjoyed in 180 countries around the world putting it ahead of its pairs in the snack food industry.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Marketing could be quite a daunting task for most business people across the world. The thought of cooking up a convincing story for potential customers and clients, or going from street to street just to speak to sell their products or services, breaks beads of sweat in the faces of a good number of marketers. Regardless of the stress, marketing remains a necessity for any type of brand that wants visibility.
Now no matter how polished or good your idea, product or service is, if you can’t market it, it goes nowhere and only stays within the reach of your immediate circle. It is safe to say marketing is a means of spreading your business to a wider audience. The simple fact is, if you want more people to know what you sell, offer or the value you can create, marketing is unavoidable and inevitable.
“Marketing is an ongoing communications exchange with customers in a way that educates, informs and builds a relationship over time. The over time part is important because only over time can trust be created. With trust, a community builds organically around products and services and those customers become as excited about the products as you are — they become advocates, loyal evangelists, repeat customers and often, friends. Marketing is a really great way to identify what grabs people and gets them excited about your brand and give it to them, involve them in the process,” said Renee Blodgett – Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Magic Sauce Media
When clearly understood, marketing is not as hard as it seems. In plain terms, it is basically communicating what you do to a target audience with a goal to attain regular and loyal customers. To further simplify the concept of marketing, below are a few tips.
KNOW THE WHY BEHIND WHAT YOU DO
There are three questions you must ask yourself before you embark on your business voyage; why, what and how. In order to avoid wastage of resources, time, and efforts, these questions should be first dealt with. Basically the ‘why’ refers to the reason behind your business and seeks to answer why you started the business in the first place. The ‘what’ deals with the product or service you are rendering. The ‘what’ also addresses if you are meeting the needs of your customers. And the ‘how’ question figures the means through which you would reach the customers and clients.
However, most marketers often skip the first question why and immediately approach potential customers with what they offer. This is the reason behind the stutter when a customer tries to engage them. The reality is most people don’t know why they sell what they do!
Simon Sinek, author and marketing consultant, puts it clearly, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
It is of utmost importance for you as a business person to do your research and practically dig deep in order to know your target market thoroughly.
KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET
Even though you wish everyone could patronise your business, the hard truth is not everyone can be your customer. You have to do a market survey and identify your target market if you want to hit your goal. When you don’t know your target market, you would keep missing your shots and eventually get frustrated.
LEVERAGE ON DIGITAL MARKETING
The digital era has made marketing easier than what it used to be. With digital platforms, entrepreneurs could get more customers in few days than they would in several months. Digital marketing is simply the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, display advertising and other channels to reach your target audience.
In contrast to the traditional marketing where one needs to go from person to person advertising their products or services, or setting up outdoor platforms, marketers and entrepreneurs can now be in the comfort of their homes and spread words about their business. Another advantage asides the ease it provides, digital marketing has a wider reach. Your business could be in Nigeria but you will be able to reach people all over the world.
Once you are clear on your why, what, and how, deploy the best possible means to reach your audience whether traditionally or digitally. Just ensure that you take strategic steps to put your business out there.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the most visited places in the city of Port Harcourt is SPAR. During the last festive season, there was a frightening mammoth crowd pressing in at the mall’s entry point, insistent on patronizing their services and products. It won’t be far-fetched to assume that 5 out of 100 persons in Port Harcourt patronized SPAR last Christmas. The building itself was crammed up with all caliber of people similar to the scenario as was reported in various SPAR outlets within the country. This shows the popularity and far reaching effects this brand has on its customers. In fact, it is now a household name in Nigeria, found on the lips of many regular shoppers.
Surprisingly, we discovered that SPAR is an old player in the retail industry with international operations since the last 86years. The company started out being called DESPAR which is a Dutch acronym for Door Eendrachtag Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig (In English meaning – “All benefits from joint co-operation”). This interpretation gives a summary of the SPAR brand story.
SPAR is a multinational firm which manages several individual retail stores and partners doing business under the SPAR brand name. It was founded in Netherlands by Adriaan van Well in 1932 on the premise that when marketers do business as individual entities they yield lesser results as compared to several individual wholesalers and retailers coming together in partnership to form a huge market network. They meet a wide range of consumers’ needs making very huge impacts by leveraging on the ensuing large customer base.
In 2009, SPAR International gave license to Artee Industries Limited to operate SPAR in Nigeria. SPAR stores in Nigeria are built on hypermarket retail format. Presently, SPAR is operating 10 stores across Port Harcourt, Abuja, Lagos, and Calabar accruing more than 34,000m2 of retail space, hence making it the largest chain of retail stores in Nigeria. They offer an ample variety of products in the class of Grocery, Fruits & Vegetables, Bakery, Butchery, Hot Meals, Wine & Spirits, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Consumer Electronics, Small Home Appliances, Laptops & Tablets, Mobile Phones, Perfumes, Watches and Jewelry.
Amazingly, even when most persons aren’t aware of the business and historical facts surrounding this retail brand, they could readily recognize the brand’s logo on any item and on Ads most especially due to its constant appearance on the brands packaging materials. SPAR’s visual identity as concerns its logo, has over the years communicated the brand’s story, essence, and culture as it is proven through the successes recorded by the brand in the business world. Currently SPAR which started as one single Dutch store has over 12,770 stores in over 45 countries on four continents; meeting the needs of over 13.5 million consumers every day. Join us as we delve into the brand story of its simple but unique logo.
HISTORY OF THE LOGO
In 1932, at the inception of the organization, the symbol chosen to represent the brand and give it an identity in the hearts of its customers was the Christmas tree. Amazingly, the brands name “DE SPAR” means “The Fir” also known as the Christmas fir tree. The logo had the fir tree symbol centered boldly and the brand’s name written at its base. The debut logo also had a Dutch inscription “Koopen bijde De Spar is Sparen Bijde koop” meaning buying at the De spar is saving on buying. Eight years later, the Dutch inscription taken off but the rest of the design left as it were. To emphasize consistency in branding and identity, SPAR maintained the same logo design in all its stores worldwide.
In the late 1940s, the brands name was abbreviated from DESPAR to SPAR and so the existing logo was modified to capture this change. As years went by, other modifications in the design was made. This time, the fir tree symbol was resized to fit within the red circular band.
Increasing its Europe presence and entering into Africa and Asia, triggered the need for a more sophisticated logo to enhance its marketing strategy. So in 1968, the logo which is currently in use and can be seen in SPAR’s outlets and packaging material was introduced. The fir tree symbol had a refined outlook like an arrowhead enclosed within a green circular band and also having the SPAR element scripted within a red block base.
SPAR runs its business under four (4) store formats – SPAR, SPAR Express, EUROSPAR supermarket and INTERSPAR Hypermarket – and each of these store formats has its brand logo.
The SPAR Express logo communicates the identity of the SPAR Express store format which is to provide service and products to on-the-go shoppers in petrol stations, airports, railways and city centres. It has the smallest sales area.
The SPAR logo has the original design format and thus represents the parent brand. It is used in communications describing the retail firm as an organization having several partners. This brand comes after the Express logo in sales area and accommodates products that satisfy consumers’ needs on daily basis.
EUROSPAR logo describes the EUROSPAR Supermarket brand which has a larger sales area than the earlier mentioned store formats. This Supermarket format is designed to cover items and purchases of consumers on weekly basis and thus caters for more needs than the earlier mentioned brands.
INTERSPAR Hypermarket logo represents SPARs biggest store format – the Hypermarket brand. This brand has the largest sales area of more than 3000m2. It was established to meet a wider range of consumer’s needs than all its other store formats. Its purpose is for it to be a one-stop shop for consumers.
Logotype colour specification
An excerpt from the Spars online logo manual says:
“The area outside the symbol and the name style is an integral part of SPAR’s identity and should always remain white.
The logotype is printed in two colours on a white background and it is critical to SPAR’s identity that the colours are interpreted correctly and consistently. The green symbol is (Pantone Matching System) 356 while the red name carrier PMS 185.
Also, the identity should always be printed onto a white background”.
The logo encapsulates the symbol of fir tree which stands for ‘SPAR” in Dutch. The fir is popular for its Christmas tree species. Christmas is a festive season of celebration, shopping and gift unraveling. Hence, the fir Christmas tree symbolizes same. We also know that SPAR is an abbreviated Dutch acronym for DESPAR meaning “All benefit from joint co-operation” and this describes the SPAR concept.
The fir symbol also takes the shape of an arrow head signifying force, direction, movement, power and direction, speed, accelerating growth rates and expansion of SPAR in the retail industry.
The logo has both Red and Green colours. The green colour which is the colour of the fir tree signifies; life, growth of the business, freshness of its food retail products and services. Red has always been an attractive and captivating colour. It represents excitement, passion, energy and has a strong effect on human metabolism and stimulates appetite hence drawing customers to the brand.
Written By Rejoice Emmanuel
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Brands choose to tell their stories any way they please but the ones that stand out are those who tell stories that resonate with the communities they serve. For sixty years plus now PEAK MILK has maintained the story of Africa through its symbolic pic story and visual identity elements of the palm tree, locals in a canoe, trade interaction with merchants, and so on.
With its rich creamy taste, Peak Milk has continued to live up to its name, and has gained the reputation of the number one brand in the dairy industry in Nigeria. Over the years, the brand has been recognised for its quality and leadership in the market. These remarkable attributes piqued our interest to do a review on this legendary brand. Sail with us to the wonderland of this iconic dairy brand.
While most people seem to know the product, only a few are familiar with the company behind the brand, Friesland Campina. The company which was founded from two great Dutch dairy companies, Friesland Foods and Campina, began its journey in the dairy industry in 1871.
Friesland Campina is a company birthed from a rich history. From its name Friesland which is a region in the north of the Netherlands characterised by the green meadows, blue skies, many lakes and splendid Frisian dairy herds and then Campina is also a wooded region of grasslands and meadows in the south of the Netherlands, it can be perceived that the company is a product of the Netherland culture.
The global company is well rooted in the culture and commerce of the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Way back in 1954, while Nigeria was still under the British colony, Friesland Campina sailed its way from Netherlands through several oceans to Nigeria. Having surveyed and seen the potentials in the Nigerian market, the company introduced its first brand, Peak Milk. Since then the dairy product has evolved and has maintained a strong leader position.
However it was not until April 1973 the company was incorporated as West Africa Milk Company (WAMCO) and finally commenced operation in 1975 making it an affiliate of Royal Friesland Campina of the Netherlands. Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria has its headquarters located in Ikeja Industrial Area of Lagos and is recorded to be one of the largest dairy cooperative in the world. Since it began operations in Nigeria it has made extensive distribution to all the states.
With its strong influence, the company continues to retain its leadership in the production, processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of its dairy products in Nigeria. In 2015, it was recorded to have made a turnover of twelve billion
At the inception, Peak Milk was seen as product for wealthy people and couldn’t be afforded by the common man. Knowing what they stood to lose with the rising of other milk brands, the company adjusted its product in order to accommodate everyone. This led to the introduction of different sizes even down to sachets.
The company behind Peak Milk ties its vision to the purpose they refer to as nourishing by nature. This stands for better nutrition for the world, a good living for farmers, now and for generations to come.
BRAND MISSION STATEMENT
From its mission statement, Nourishing Nigeria with Quality Dairy Nutrition, it is obvious the brand is driven by the need to nourish its consumers.
The strategy behind this exceptional brand is quite straight to the point which is to add value; from its nutrition, to nature, to both young and old people, to consumers and customers, to citizen and down to the society. This value adding mind-set has been transferred to all their employees worldwide.
The company has broken down its plan into the following;
- Win with nutrition
- Serve the 24/7 consumer and customer
- Lead with sustainability
- Elevate our essentials
BRAND CAMPAIGNS AND PROJECTS
Most recently, the brand has been running a campaign it named PECADOMO which is an acronym for ‘Peak Can Do More’. The idea is to gain new markets by highlighting several other things that the milk product can be used asides regular usage
Peak Milk is one brand that has made a strong impression in Nigeria with its involvement and commitment to nation building and community development. Severally in the past it has supported charity projects, schools and communities through its corporate citizenship programme which kicked off in 2004.
The programme has seen the commissioning of over 41 solar boreholes, supported over 18 public secondary schools amongst many other projects.
With a well mapped out and structured brand like Peak, we can bank on the fact that it will be here for more years to come and may probably still be leading the dairy industry here in Nigeria. It points to the need to build a brand that transcends the founders.
Key Takeaway: Regardless of its leadership position in the market, PEAK is not relenting in its drive to remain a relevant, readily available and trustworthy brand. This is a vital lessons for beginners and the likes, do not allow your successes stop you from pushing the boundaries and frontiers.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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For decades, Pepsi has been Coca Cola’s arch-rival in the beverage industry. Having been in the market since 1886, long before Pepsi’s birth in 1893, Coca Cola can be said to be on the leading edge. With this lead, Pepsi and other related brands continue to be on their toes to meet up and outshine the iconic brand.
Over the years the competition between Coke and Pepsi has been fierce and consistent with each brand coming up with different strategies to remain at the top and gain more consumers. This could be observed in their constant innovative moves, from ads to their products and also their sponsorship programs.
In a bid to get more attention, Pepsi took advantage of the Atlanta Super Bowl game, which it was sponsoring for the first time, to make some strategic chess moves. For the first time, Pepsi took over Atlanta which is popularly referred to as Coke’s town, since the brand was born there and its headquarters is also located there. The city was painted blue as opposed to when its opponent Coke used to paint it red during their period of sponsorship.
Asides the billboards Pepsi mounted in strategic areas with taglines like, “Look Who’s in Town for Super Bowl LIII”, announcing their arrival, the brand brought the statue of its founder Caleb Bradham to Atlanta’s World of Coca Cola right next to the statue of Coke’s founder John S. Pemberton. The statue was positioned in such a way it looked as though the two founders were clinking their glasses in celebration.
This move may have been a demonstration of Pepsi’s idea of the cola truce initiative or part of their plan to get more attention thereby creating more visibility for its brand.
This however didn’t seem to have moved the Coca Cola team as there was no response from their side. Reacting to this, Pepsi took what they perceived was a cold reception from Coca Cola to Twitter.
Flipping the awkward situation around, Pepsi informed the public about their Charity plan which was to donate food to the needy from every tweet with the hashtags #ColaTruce and #Share2Donate. This new strategy seem to have worked and must have endeared them in the hearts of more people as they were able to donate meals to 130k people through United Ways of Greater Atlanta, a platform for community development.
Now drawing away from all the drama, one insight we can glean from Pepsi’s relentless spirit is, if one business strategy fails, try another approach even if it means putting up a show. In the end, you just never can tell which of the strategies would yield the desired result and eventually put your brand in the mouths and eyes of people.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the famous and oldest automobile brands in the world which stands out for the quality, durable and reliable vehicles they create is Toyota. Established in 1933 by the Toyoda family as a subsidiary of the Toyoda Automatic Loom works, they started out producing automatic loom works and textiles before diversifying into automobile production with the production of the model AA passenger car in 1936. Headquartered in Toyota city, Aichi Japan, earliest productions were directed by the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda and the company was named after the family’s name – TOYODA.
However, it was later renamed TOYOTA in 1936 after a competition which had 27,000 design entries was held in that effect. The design entry bearing the Toyota name was chosen and the TOYOTA brand incorporated as the company’s name. This was because whilst Toyoda took 10 Japanese strokes to write, Toyota took 8 strokes which in Japanese culture signify luck and good fortune.
Remarkably, the Toyota brand was introduced into the Nigerian automobile market 32 years after it was founded through various distributing outlets. Later on Toyota (Nigeria) Limited was incorporated as the sole distributor of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
The Toyota brand has over the years endeared themselves to the heart of their customers especially through its visual identity system specifically the well-known Toyota 3-ellipses logo. This has contributed greatly to the successes recorded by the Toyota brand. As little children we could remember playing with this emblem on our parents Toyota cars. This article aims to unravel the wonder behind this globally recognized logo.
HISTORY OF THE LOGO
The debut logo was designed in 1935 bearing the company’s name as at the time – TOYODA. It had the shape of an octagon with the TOYODA inscribed in bold uppercase red font. This was seen on the AA model car and G1 truck produced in 1936.
With the renaming of its name from TOYODA to TOYOTA, a new logo was designed to capture this effect. However, this new design had TOYOTA transcribed into Japanese language and centered in a red circular background.
After about 10 years later, the logo design was further re-designed. This time, it had the brand name inscribed in English language; scripted similarly with “Times New Roman” in a bold uppercase black font colour.
Later on, the succeeding logo font was modified using the “Bold Toyota Type” font and inscribed in black font colour.
This font colour was later changed into an attractive red colour which is today known as the Toyota Red. This had a captivating feel, attracting more customers to the brand.
Conclusively, the well-known 3-ellipes logo was introduced at the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motors Corporation on the 2nd of October, 1989. The previous red logo element was added to the 3-ellipses emblem forming one of the most popular automobile logo in the world today seen on all Toyota vehicles. Subsequent years have seen various modifications in typography, colour, staging platform and visual dimensions being made to the Toyota logo.
As part of showing their value and enthusiasm in promoting their visibility and acceptance, Toyota has a website exclusively dedicated to provide detailed information on their Visual Identity System (VIS) covering these six core elements – logos, tagline, typography, photography styles, colour palette and design layouts. Certainly, their visual identity matters a great to them, like it should be for every other brand.
TOYOTA LOGO SPECIFICATIONS
Toyota Motors Corporation is visually identified using any of these 3 logo types: (i) the Toyota Brand logo (ii) the Let’s Go Places logo and (iii) the Vehicle logo.
The Brand logo is used to represent the parent brand and is also used when more than one Toyota product is advertised. In addition, it appears where the slogan (tagline) is used as a headline in a publication. Still, it is not used were the vehicle logo appears.
The vehicle logo is used when marketing a particular Toyota vehicle. Some of Toyota’s vehicle brand includes; Corolla, Camry, Sienna, TACOMA, RAV4, Highlander, 4RUNNER, SEQUOIA, TUNDRA, C-HR, Land Cruiser, Avalon etc. This logo however, is not used alongside other logos or elements.
The Let’s Go Places Logo conveys the brand essence and culture. It is not used without the staging platform when used as a logo. Also, it comes in three forms; the horizontal stacked, horizontal and vertical.
Toyota logos comprises of 3 elements: (i) the typography i.e. font size, font style etc., (ii) the Toyota symbol and (iii) the staging platform which could also be called the background fill.
The minimum size that the Toyota logo can be reduced to – in both Print and Digital – is 9mm and 24 pixels respectively. This also tells the minimum height that the staging platform can be. In addition, on publications, all logo designs carry a little clear space around them. This clear space is measured in X unit. This is derived by dividing the staging platform into 6 rows and 6 columns. Each cell represents X unit. Two units (2X) of this measurement tell the amount of space that is left both horizontally and vertically around the logo design in a communication.
Toyota’s logo font style is the ‘Bold Toyota type font’. The Font colour could be black or red depending on the background of the publication whilst size and space dimensions are stipulated in Toyota’s VIS manual.
When the staging platform is in Toyota Red and the typography in black, the logo is placed on a light or white background while when the staging platform is on a dark publication background, the typography becomes white but the staging platform remains red. The Toyota VIS makes provisions for 1-colour designs with no other colours apart from black, red and white.
Logo Colour Palette
Toyota colour palette comprises of Red, White and Black with the primary colour as Red. Red represents energy, visibility, passion, excitement and the Toyota taste for adventure. White stands for clarity showing Toyota’s sincerity in creating an impressionable product to its customers.
MEANING OF THE LOGO
The Logo Symbol
According to online sources, the two inner intercepting ellipses in the Toyota symbol represents the unification of the hearts of Toyota customers with the heart of Toyota products while the largest oval encapsulating the inner ellipses, represents the world embracing Toyota. The background space in the Toyota symbol spells Toyota’s technological advancement and the boundless opportunities ahead of them.
Also, in another explanation, the two inner ovals that overlap to form a “T” stand for Toyota and the centered oval forms the shape of a steering wheel which represents the Toyota vehicle itself.
Furthermore, recent discoveries shows that upon a closer look at the Toyota 3-ellipses symbol, it is seen that all the letters that spell the word TOYOTA are found in it.
INCORRECT USE OF TOYOTA LOGO
In order to maintain consistency and encourage sustained brand awareness, Toyota advocates for the correct use of their logos on all communication platforms. Some possible misuse of Toyota logos are:
- Using the 3-D logo in brand communications
- Changing the logo colour
- Distorting the shape of the logo shape
- Filling up the staging platform with an image
- Adding a shadow to the logo
- Altering the logo artwork
- Changing the shape of the staging platform
- Using the logo within text
- Changing the logo typography style
- Changing the type size or colour of the tagline.
There is obviously more to a logo beyond – it preserves a brand’s history, tells its story, and expresses its culture in ways unique to the brand alone. We hope you found this insightful for your own brand?
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
Do you need an expressive logo for your brand? We would love to work with you. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org