Birds of a feather

BEFORE                AFTER

29 businesses, 32,000 employees, 14,000 cr+ turnover, 110 years into business. That’s Chennai-based Murugappa Group. In case you are still wondering which group is this, think BSA Bicycles, Parryware, Cholamandalam Finance, and Coromandel Cement – some of the many popular brands the group owns. Despite all the popular brands, the group seems to have maintained a low–key profile thus far. All of that is now set to change with this new identity, released in Sept 2010, along with an entirely new Brand campaign that will follow under the theme of “Energy Unbound”.

Unveiling the brand, Mr. A Vellayan, Executive Chairman, Murugappa Group said, “This contemporary rendition of the Murugappa Peacock is a sign of the Group’s global outlook and the dynamic targets we have set out to reach. Red as a color embodies vigor, power, passion, drive, energy and is renowned for its excellent visibility. The clean lines and the unique lower case style in which ‘murugappa’ is written help connect with audiences through simplicity and elegance. Our aspiration is to make the Murugappa Group one of the most admired and well recognized brands among business Groups in India.

An internal, pan-India study, initiated in 2008, concluded :

 

The Group needed to deepen the understanding among the core audiences (read “needed to be more visible and known”). The Group also needed to connect to the generation of the future – the emerging tribe of confident, global Indians (read “needed to be refreshed”).

 

I couldn’t agree more. With a clearly established requirement (that’s how any Branding exercise should be approached), the creative part was handled by Lopez Design, and they have come up with an appropriate solution. Not creative in the path-breaking sense, but still perfect.

 

Agency Speak : “Redesigning the Murugappa Group identity was all about striking a delicate balance between tradition and modernism.”

 

The earlier peacock’s feathers were outright, explicit arrows. These have been well-replaced with a more subtle & beautiful version, with more radiation (or, energy) at the centre. The new peacock is much more beautiful – its neck, its crest, and its feathers are all improved. And, attractive. I especially like the way the bottom end of the neck smoothly diverges sideways to merge into the feathers. As for Concept and Significance, its much the same as before.

The new red color surely gives the identity much more life and energy, and yes, visibility. Blue is a most corporate-ish color no doubt, but Red gives it the visibility, passion, and energy it needed. The typography is very commendable. While moving from uppercase to lowercase is the easiest thing to go with the “going young” strategy, the font & its curves here are really nice and attractive. It makes the namestyle not just young, but classy as well. The word “group” is knocked off in the new Identity. Guess the word did not do much, but the new identity and its widespread use will surely work.

Not going in for a totally different concept, but instead, just improvising on the old concept shows the inherent strength and longevity of the concept. So, does this new, refreshed identity have the longevity? Definitely. Another 110 years may be a bit too far away, but yes, this identity can definitely last them for years to come. All in all , a highly commendable job.

 

Strategy : 70%        Creativity : 70%        Execution : 80%

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