If you want to get someone involved with brands really angry then all you have to do is tell them that a brand is nothing but just a logo, a symbol and a colour scheme. If you want to get someone involved with brands really sad then all you have to do is completely mess up that logo, that symbol and that colour scheme.
RP Sanjiv Goenka Group managed to do both. They shocked us and they repulsed us. Nobody was amused. For anyone passionate about brands there is immense joy in creating a new brand. It is like giving birth to something that will go on forever. It is like getting an empty canvas and having the freedom to smear it with colour. It is like being given the key to a world of possibilities. And that is why when you see someone get it all wrong, it hurts.
A good brand needs to be thought through. Its purpose should be clearly articulated. It must have a distinct personality. And while a brand is much more than just the sum total of individual parts such as the logo, the name and the colours, they are significant components of the identity of the brand.
A business conglomerate such as the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group will not get something so basic, so wrong. There is something else at play. It is possibly the same mindset that stops Indian parents from letting their kids pursue a sport. The idea that a sport is secondary, a sport is not important enough.
RP Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group named its IPL team Rising Pune Super Giants (RPSG). It is cringe-worthy. Not for the sheer lack of imagination but because it reduces the idea of a sports team as nothing but a “billboard” on which you can plaster a bunch of corporate logos. You are not establishing a team for the Punekars.
There is nothing for them to relate to. No ideology or characteristic that they can connect with. All you are doing is buying advertising space.
And if the name wasn’t enough, the logo reinforces the point that barely any thought went into this. It is a very juvenile attempt. Not something you would associate with a professional team. There is not much you can read into from the logo because besides a golden ball (Quidditch inspired?) and a pair of wings (Bentley inspired?) there is nothing there.
A logo should convey what you stand for, the values you believe in. A logo should embody who you are and should have a personality of its own. This one unfortunately just does not have any character.
The name has elements that can convey dominance and brute strength. The logo on the other hand conveys speed and agility. The worst news for a new brand is when it starts becoming schizophrenic. RPSG needs to pull back and ask itself what and who is it representing: The business owner or the people of the city.
For India to become a sporting nation, we don’t just need millions to be pumped into infrastructure and leagues. We need mindsets to be changed. Mindsets of business owners who buy teams. It is high time they start appreciating that a sports team is a new product you are launching. It is a new brand you are creating and it deserves the same respect and investment that you put into your soap, shampoo or cement brands.
The writer is a professional brand consultant