BRANDING NEWS: Rebrand plan to Xerox in on Europe
David Mitchell, Xerox's head of brand and marketing communications, says the company has struggled to retain a strong brand association in Europe since the name âRank Xerox' was dropped in the late 90s, following Xerox's buyout of Rank Organisation's minority share.
"Rank Xerox was a strong brand name in Europe, but after changing the name we struggled to retain that identity," says Mitchell. "With the rebrand, we want to shake off the unapproachable tag that we seem to suffer from there and project ourselves as the friendly, dynamic company that we are."
The brand revamp, which includes a transformation of the company's logo, website and marketing collateral, marks the end of a difficult financial period for Xerox, which recently reinstated its stock dividend following a suspension period of six years. It is also the company's first brand refresh in almost half a decade. "This is the right time to give the company a new look. A rebrand on such a global scale is a huge challenge, but an exciting one," says Mitchell.
The new identity, unveiled simultaneously to Xerox's 57,000 worldwide employees on Monday via a webcast, also aims to close what the company sees as a perception gap in what it offers. "The business has evolved into one that deals with services and document solutions but a lot of people still view us as simply a big photocopier company," says Mitchell.
The logo, which also incorporates a sphere sketched with lines, has been designed to stand out more in modern formats such as the Internet and on high-definition television. However some brand experts are sceptical about what the new logo achieves. Glenn Tutssel, executive creative director at The Brand Union, says, "Symbols can add balance and structure to a logo, but it's hard to think of a more balanced word than the symmetrical âXerox'. There seems to be a worrying trend for unnecessary 3D symbols, and it's disappointing to see Xerox following suit. (However) the new look does create a far warmer, friendlier consumer interface."
Rollout of the new brand identity, which was developed by Interbrand, is expected to take several months. In March, Xerox will have one of the first chances to reveal its new look to a global audience when it sponsors the Ducati World Superbike Championship.
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