Why Auburn Should Not Tamper with the “AU” Logo
Courtesy of Auburn Uniform Data Base
For the first time in over 50 years Auburn will be changing its official logo. The traditional interlocking “AU” will be tighter, smaller, and emphasize a little more orange. The new logo will be a shorter, squatter version of the old with the recognizable white space between the “A” and “U” done away with and the “U” in the logo shorter.
The last time Auburn tried to mess with the brand (1995), then president Dr William Muse had a revolt on his hands from fans and had to quickly retreat. Sort of like what happened to Coca Cola when management tried to change its recognizable brand to “New Coke” back in 1985. There was a revolt from consumers, the likes of which had never been seen before.
Coca Cola officials tried to market it as a new improved logo and formula. They tried to alleviate consumer angst by saying the changes were slight and intended to improve the brand.
Likewise, according to the university’s assistant vice president for communications, Mike Clardy, Auburn updated its logo to “help us further elevate the Auburn brand.” When looking at the new design, some will undoubtedly (as with the Coke brand change) say it’s almost the same thing, so what is the bid deal?
If it is in fact a slight alteration, then my question is, “Why change it at all?” Why spend a lot of money to change all the uniforms, the printed material, signs around campus, including the stadium, Arena, and athletic facilities? It will be a complete waste of resources for something that doesn’t need changing. As my granddaddy used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Again, how can changing an internationally recognizable brand to something different help “elevate the Auburn brand?” Reports are the genesis for the change came from former Auburn President, Steven Leath, who was forced out of office last month. Why then should the school proceed with such a costly venture?
Mike Marshall over at The Auburn Authority has an interesting take on the change wanted by Dr Leath. Marshall is an alumnus and former beat writer for several outlets, including 247Sports. He had this to say via twitter: “Not sure why you would do that. If AU is looking to enhance marketing and branding, perhaps a better approach might be to avoid hiring a president who was almost a disaster from the start and paying him $4.5 million to leave.”
Exactly Mike, exactly.
Auburn should keep the AU logo as it is and apply the energy and money somewhere else that needs the attention because this is one area that doesn’t need fixing!