Samsung may reveal “vibrant” new brand identity at CES 2013

Samsung Logo Door OfficesSamsung is planning something special for CES 2013, and although we’re sure many new products will be among the surprises, a rumored overhaul of the company’s branding may take center stage.

The news comes from a report published by Channel News in Australia, and quotes anonymous sources who say Samsung is almost ready to unveil a “more vibrant international brand image.” While the specifics aren’t discussed, the familiar blue Samsung oval will be replaced, and each part of Samsung’s business will get its own individual color that will be used in its advertising.

On the subject of advertising, this will shift from being based around features and benefits, to focus instead on “lifestyle activities.”

According to Channel News’ sources, the man at the helm of this ambitious project is Scott Bedbury, CEO of brand development consultancy Brandstream. This is a fascinating choice, and if anyone can enhance Samsung’s already well-established brand image, it’s Bedbury.

During his time at Nike in the late 80s and early 90s, he directed the launch of the Just Do It campaign, which you’re probably familiar with, and turned Nike around from being a youthful, aspirational American brand to being a global, all-inclusive fitness phenomenon. After Nike, he pushed Starbucks out into the world, and introduced the comfy chairs and CDs.

Since then, he has gone on to work with companies including Nokia, Facebook, Amazon, T-Mobile, and Google.

Public perception problem?

A complete brand overhaul means Samsung may have taken recent comments regarding the way it’s perceived to heart. When a judge in the UK says your products aren’t as cool as Apple’s, it’s not only bound to stick, but also raise concerns about the opinion of the man on the street, too.

The really interesting thing is, Bedbury isn’t a fan of “cool.” In an interview with FastCompany way (way) back in 2002, he warned companies “not to worship cool,” and called it a “false god.” He said (rather prophetically, as it turns out) that companies should “be more concerned with their karma than with being cool,” and closed with the thought that “big doesn’t have to be bad, that profits are only one measure of success, and that great brands can use their unique superhuman powers for good. Now that would be cool.”

An attitude like this makes a major Samsung brand identity alteration intriguing, as it could take a very different route not only to the one it has been on for a while, but the one Apple has chosen too.

Next year’s International Consumer Electronics Show begins on January 8 and ends on January 11.


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