A huge thanks to Rabbit, for sending in this wonderful story about changing a Brand. Wow, have I been here before, this is a very difficult task, and from the look of it. NAILED IT! Thanks to Bruce Bildsten and the entire Lands-O-Lakes chapter for sharing this.
The delicate art of updating a club logo when your namesake is an icon of the woody boating world.
You may have heard about our boat club in Minnesota (and a touch of Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.) A few years ago we hosted that ACBS International on Gull Lake that had everyone buzzing (at least, until our friends in Michigan did Boat The Blue.) Yeah, the same club with the President with the loud shorts: Dave Bortner. Well, I’m on the board of that club. And like Matt, I work in the advertising business. So, when our fearless leader with the pastel shorts and the rest of the board said it was time for a new logo, naturally it fell to me to make it happen.
The official name of our club is the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. And since it was such a mouthful, we had to abbreviate it to BSLOL. The problem is in the new world of social media, those letters mean something very different: Something about bull dung, laugh out loud. And besides THAT unfortunate development, the logo itself was feeling more than a little tired.
The primary impetus for the change was clarity in communication. Our goal was to create a new logo that was as classic and beautiful as our boats, yet simple and easy to read. We also wanted to emphasize the portion of our name that would be easily understandable to those not in the club. Besides its unintended new meaning in social media, he emphasis on the acronym BSLOL in our identity required a whole lot of explaining on the dock of boat shows.
For the purpose of our logo, we simplified the name of the club to The Land-o-Lakes Classic Boat Club. It’s a term that clearly identifies our region. Of course, it’s more important than ever to the board to honor the legacy of Bob Speltz. That’s why the new design places the Bob Speltz name in the highest place of honor:
Along the hull of the real runabout, the focus of the new design. You’ll also notice the ACBS burgee proudly flying on the bow.
No, the new identity isn’t ground-breaking. But it’s timeless, clear and simple. We also stuck with classic red white and blue, instead of trying to match Dave’s shorts. Since I’m a writer, not a designer, I had to bribe one of my designers with a cruise (in one of Dave’s boats) and dinner on Lake Minnetonka. Thank you, Sarah McNerney!
And I think it worked. We immediately made a big batch of new T-shirts which instantly sold out. More swag is on the way.