Why would anyone buy a Black + Decker power tool? Serious carpenters select Festool and worksite warriors default to DeWalt, but among the sea of color-coordinated tools at Home Depot is there any reason to choose Milwaukee instead of Makita? Bosch over Black + Decker? Branding firm Lippincott hopes to answer that question with a new logo.
Black + Decker (formerly Black & Decker) is best known for its power tools. Problem is, the brand carries a lot more: vacuums and coffee makers are two big sellers in the company’s canon of products, making the existing hexagonal logo--which symbolized the nut used with a bolt screw and can be seen here at the right--somewhat dated.
Power tool and appliance brand Black + Decker has a new look, new products and a complete redesign of its logo (bye-bye &, hello +), and it's all about simplicity. It is part of a repositioning process that began two years ago and went into the execution stage when parent Stanley Black & Decker brought in Lippincott, a New York-based marketing strategy, design and consumer experience firm, to head up the program on the agency side. Job one for the agency was last year’s repositioning of the company's Stanley Tools brand.
Branding agency Lippincott has designed a new visual identity for Black + Decker. We asked senior design partner Marc Hohmann about the reasons for its controversial rebrand.
Lippincott, a design and branding firm that worked with Black+Decker on the redesign, says the hardware brand is trying to modernize its imagery by focusing on its products and how they are able to help consumers improve their homes. The new logo also removes the orange hexagon that once accompanied the text.
Is consumer culture in America outgrowing Bud’s imagery? Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, a brand strategy consultancy, doesn’t think so. “American consumers are attracted to brands that have a true story, are transparent and are innovative. Budweiser is trying to appeal to these trends. Since its design upgrade in 2011, it has a more modern look that can take the brand into the future, while still appealing to its loyal drinkers.”
Early this year, American Airlines and Avianca S.A.—two airlines facing very different challenges—unveiled new and coincidentally similar logos. The passage of months has quelled the subsequent gossip in the design community. But I was reminded of this coincidence by an article in the upcoming issue of The Harvard Business Review. That, in turn, gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate these airlines’ new logos from a fresh perspective, and see them as illustrating a couple of important lessons about branding.
After spending a month teasing the Internet with possible redesigns, Yahoo unveiled its new logo at midnight and it is ... mostly the same. The letters are less jumbled, and Yahoo darkened its purple branding. It also kept the trademark exclamation point, as it said it would all along.
Senior partner Brendan Murphy and director of global business development Richard Wilke, explain when and why to change your logo along with key questions to ask yourself before you embark on changing your brand's identity.
Fifty-five years is a good run for any corporate logo, but now Farmers Insurance is replacing its old mark with a new one—keeping several of the original design elements but giving it a sleeker, more contemporary look. The company's first logo, unveiled upon its founding in 1928, featured a sunrise to represent the optimism of a new day. It's new logo, designed in collaboration with Lippincott in New York, keeps the sun and shield—but otherwise has a whole new look.