Vox Pop

Labour has launched a new motif, designed in-house, that is intended for use on merchandise. This is an addition to its red rose logo, not a replacement for it. How effective do you think this branding initiative will be?

‘I do not think this is a real branding initiative, but simply a new merchandising drive. Rupert Howell, chief executive officer of Chime Communications, suggests the logo as seemingly representative of a bloke parachuting out of the spiralling plane that is Labour. It’s a good indication of how the public will react to it – quizzical at best, laughable at worst. I look forward to the Conservative response. A paratrooper storming Big Ben maybe?’

John Mathers, Managing Director, Fitch

‘The new Labour symbol has nothing new to symbolise. That’s why it’s redundant. John Smith, Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair renewed their party to make it salient enough to win the power to govern. Neil Kinnock chose the red rose to symbolise this transformation. It’s a fresh, simple and real symbol of a caring political party with a generous spirit. No new symbol is needed now, although after ten years it may have needed refreshing. To suddenly launch a new symbol with no new meaning is confusing. It seems like a knee-jerk, ‘new broom’ gesture that draws attention to nothing but its graphic, abstract self.’

Michael Wolff, founding partner, The Fourth Room

‘For the party of presentation, Labour’s branding is looking surprisingly confused. Not only do we have the Labour rose and ‘New Labour New Britain’ logos, we now have a parachuting stick man. Leaving aside the aesthetics of the in-house design, it’s unclear what this logo is for. Is it for general merchandising, or is it an election campaign logo? Either way it serves to confuse Labour’s brand and is unlikely to galvanize an apathetic electorate into action.’

Dominic Edwardes, Marketing manager, Terrence Higgins Trust Lighthouse

‘This is a demonstration of an organisation that has a schizophrenic approach to its branding and shows that Labour has lost faith in what the rose can do. It needs to make the brand work in a consistent and coherent manner to make the organisation stronger. The use of this symbol will dilute the whole gestalt of the Labour brand and the danger is they will hit a spiral of brand decline.’

Michael Peters, Chairman, the Identica partnership

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