Friday, July 17, 2009
Changing the Colors of GM's Logo
It was rumored that GM may consider changing the color of its logo from blue to green when it emerged from bankruptcy. Apparently, that’s not going to happen.
Too bad for GM! This could have been a classic case of brand transformation in the right direction. Yes, something as subtle as color can affect a consumers’ perception of a brand, a corporate image, business, and any product.
Any color change would have sent a message that the stodgy old GM products and attitudes were gone. (And blue - that GM blue - is as boring and unimaginative as many of the cars that GM expected we’d buy.)
Green would be perfect for several reasons:
1. It’s a change - and changing the color of a logo signals a big change.
2. Green delivers the powerful symbolism of eco-friendliness. Even though we’re gagging on the repetitious emphasis on "green" products today, the automotive industry and especially GM REALLY need to catch up. Philosophically, green sends the right message.
3. A green GM logo would draw attention to the company's greener product offerings such as the upcoming Chevrolet Volt and Cruze which is expected to get significantly higher mpg ratings than even the new Cobalt.
The only disadvantage might be the 1920’s racing superstition that green race cars are bad luck. The only real risk might be the association of green with money (US greenbacks) - the taxpayer’s money that was used for the bailouts.
One last thing: Brand continuity. It’s a change but not a huge shift. Blue and green are both cool colors. For that matter, green is blue’s neighbor on the color wheel. The trick is to find the right shade of green . . .and that’s where GM could have used a color consultant with an eye for nuances. Me!
Maybe they'll change their minds.