In case you missed it, Governor Hickenlooper rolled out a ‘unified brand’ for Colorado last August. The creation of the new brand is meant to serve a number of purposes including attracting business and tourism to Colorado.
The development of the new brand was led by the State’s chief marketing officer, Aaron Kennedy, who is also the founder of Noodles & Company (now close your eyes and think of their logo–if you can actually, you’re one of the few).
The design of the new logo is rather simple and a play on the decades-old license plate design and colors. Some, like State Representative Bob Rankin, have pointed out that the logo looks pretty similar to a hazmat sign or a carbon monoxide (CO) warning sign. The design of the new logo went away from the Colorado ‘C’ found on Colorado’s flag when a number of persons surveyed thought that the C was a symbol for Chicago.
The new brand is right-on-target when it comes to marketing Colorado and Colorado-made products to those outside the State. Several hundred companies are reported to have already signed up to use the logo on their products packaging to show that it was either designed or made here in Colorado. From a business perspective this makes a lot of sense and it will serve its purpose of promoting Colorado to entrepreneurs, businesses, and tourists.
Governor Hickenlooper is overreaching though in placing the new brand on absolutely everything Colorado including its State agencies. What’s more, the claim is that the new unified branding will save the State money–or at least it should once everyone has re-branded again. State agencies are busy revamping their logos into ‘shields’ (an upside down triangle) that will appear alongside the new Colorado logo. Even once everything matches again will there really be marketing savings to be had by the State? Aaron Kennedy used The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) $300,000 annual marketing budget as an example of where these cost savings will come from. But it just doesn’t add up, once CDOT produces its new shield won’t it still need to continue to create more marketing campaigns for its numerous projects? The new brand might limit the options but that doesn’t necessarily translate into savings.