SUNBIZ

Great Brands Don’t Change, They Get Refreshed

In 1974 Roy Whitton decided that the new company he had just started should be named after his partner and wife Rose. Roy was a man of many talents so
15 Dec 2018 16:39
Great Brands Don’t Change,  They Get Refreshed
From left: President of Fiji Major General (ret’d) Jioji Konrote, Rosie Holidays Fiji creative directors Brigid Whitton and Rosie Holidays managing director Tony Whitton..

In 1974 Roy Whitton decided that the new company he had just started should be named after his partner and wife Rose. Roy was a man of many talents so he undertook most of the brand design work himself.

Needing a logo, he borrowed the Rose design from a Lancome bottle and so one of Fiji’s great brands was born.

Since that first creative moment from Roy, the Rosie Holidays brand has continued pretty much untouched except for the occasional minor tweak and has appeared on an ever growing range of products and equipment.

After almost forty five years and many hours of soul searching by Tony Whitton and the Rosie management, a momentous decision was taken.

 

Refresh the brand/Logo

It was time to refresh the brand. Rosie was the strongest and most consistent branding for the tourism industry in the South Pacific and has a high profile in the travel industry internationally but their business has changed substantially over the last five years and many new products and services had been launched.

The logo and presentation standards that Roy had created no longer matched what the company represented.

They have products that target the top couple of percent of the population with very up market and exclusive tourism experiences, through adventure and involvement products, packaged volunteering, sun and sea, drop and flop, cultural immersion, solo traveller, family together and free spirit concepts.

They have a range so wide that it is difficult to believe that they can be represented by single logo or branding device.

But the Group has a strong feeling of relationship and mutual support and they wanted to maintain that and to remain a single entity with many facets.

The other issue was that the way the logo was used had changed dramatically over all those years and the expediential growth in digital communication for the company demanded a different approach.

That said, any refreshment had to have a clear and identifiable link to the original, it had to display its heritage.

Another concern was that the number of applications for the logo was vast and the cost of changing needed to be controlled.

They estimated that a budget in excess of $100,000 would be needed to make the shift and they wanted to change all at once, not drag out over a couple of years.

The refreshed logo also need to work as well on a business card as it did on the side of their largest tourist coaches.

And after all that, Rose Whitton had to like it.

As the work on the logo progressed the idea evolved that Rosie wanted to stay with a flower device, as it had always used a flower since the start, but there was a strong desire that the flower be Fijian to reflect the core beliefs of the company and the tight relationship between the company and its home, Fiji.

 

Behind the flower

It was also understood that a flower concept closely reflected the company’s history of growth and of filling people’s visit with happiness.

The graphics evolved to the presentation of a Masi Kesa, a common representation of a flower in the Fijian culture.

The red colour of the original flower has been retained.

The type for the Rosie name used in conjunction with the device was also altered to more closely echo the design technique of the Masi Kesa and to make a more cohesive design unit.

The new type is also very readable at a distance.

As the purpose of the exercise was to refresh the brand presentation and not to alter it.

It was considered unnecessary to make changes to all the other items that go to make up a brand presentation so uniforms, promotional material, stationery and the other elements were left untouched.

 

Reviewing the final logo

In reviewing the final logo it was agreed that it was indeed evolutionary and bought the original elements up to date.

It was also agreed that the strongly simple Fijian feel of the logo would give it a very long life, similar to that of the rose it is replacing.

During the past year a number of other marketing leaders in the tourism industry internationally have reviewed their branding presentation and have mostly opted for a brand refresh rather than a full rebranding exercise in a similar way to the Rosie exercise.

 

Defending the brand

The benefits of this route for any company that has a strong and well regarded brand are that the logotype has a new and more modern look but the other elements of the brand retain the history and the substance that has made the brand so respected.

When asked what he thought of Roy borrowing the rose Tony agreed that, knowing Roy, if Lancome had asked him about it he and Rose would have been annoyed and attacked them for stealing his logo.

They always defend the Rosie brand with determination.

Roy would have agreed with the new brand presentation because he was a deep thinker and careful planner and the new branding device is the product of just that process. 

While the change may appear small, any company as successful and well regarded as Rosie Group needs to take great care that they are changing the company identifier for sound marketing reasons and not just to have a change.

 

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

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