Change for change’s sake?

One way to transform your company is to give it a new name or corporate logo. But be careful!

‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.’ – Leo Tolstoy.

Many years ago, I worked for a rather well-established publishing company in the heart of London. It had been trading successfully for well over 25 years. But when it was taken over by a somewhat larger conglomerate, the inevitable happened. Changes were made. And, I might add, all the changes were not for the better.

Because the new owners seemed hard pressed for a good reason to change the company or the personnel they had purchased, they decided to give the company a new corporate identity instead.

And so many tens of pounds were invested in a rather avant garde design firm who developed a new logo that would cement that identity into the minds of the staff and their customers. Once completed, all the members of the concern, including myself, were press ganged into London to witness the unveiling ceremony.

But what ridicule was lambasted upon the developers of new logo when the sales folks and journalists finally saw it. You see, the new logo turned out to nothing more imaginative than a Brown Fox. Chosen because it represented the core values of the company – it was wily, it was cunning, and it was adaptable.

Unfortunately, the Brown Fox is also the sworn enemy of the farmer. And when it was pointed out to the new management that they had actually bought several very successful farming magazines that they might wish to keep that way, the Foxy Logo was dropped like a pile of steaming hot potatoes.

Had the fellas who run the British Government been at that meeting that day, perhaps they would not have changed the name of our very own beloved Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) so quickly directly after the election.

They too might have thought somewhat harder before they lumbered it with the Orwellian sounding Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry (DPEI).

Because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that simply by capitalising a few letters in the lengthy new department’s fancy new name, one delivers completely the wrong impression. (No, that isn’t this week’s brainteaser! – Ed.).

So, it was inevitable then, wasn’t it, that just as our friend the Brown Fox got ripped apart, so too did the new name for the DTI? And it was changed back very quickly to its former name all within the space of a few days.