Branded in Car­bon­ear


If you have a prod­uct on the mar­ket, any prod­uct, the very first thing you would want is for it to be in­stantly and uni­ver­sally rec­og­niz­able.

The last thing you would need is for it to be ig­nored, and passed over for a more at­trac­tive com­peti­tor.

That’s why since Coca-cola first hit the mar­ket, com­pa­nies have been clev­erly us­ing brand names, colour­ful lo­gos, catchy ad­ver­tis­ing slo­gans and pack­ag­ing to at­tract at­ten­tion to their wares. And let’s not for­get Coca-cola were the peo­ple who helped shape our mod­ern day im­age of Santa.

In an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive world, more re­cently, prov­inces and towns have been hitch­ing their hopes for recog­ni­tion and po­ten­tial new busi­ness to the brand­ing band­wagon.

Last week, Car­bon­ear be­came the lat­est town to hop on board.

The town’s new logo is com­prised of four let­ter Cs, which merge and over­lap. When joined to­gether, they ap­pear to be four ab­stract cir­cles, which also bear some re­sem­blance to a four-leaf clover. But that’s only our in­ter­pre­ta­tion of it.

The folks who con­ceived it say it was de­signed to rep­re­sent com­mu­nity and part­ner­ship. A white space in the cen­tre rep­re­sents the town it­self as the heart or hub of the area. A tiny green square at the top of the b in the word, Car­bon­ear, is in­tended to rep­re­sent growth. In­spired by the leg­endary Ir­ish Princess Sheila Nageira’s hair colour, the logo uses gold to also re­flect the town’s warm, sunny per­son­al­ity.

Towns­peo­ple may have al­ready no­ticed the new brand on one of the town’s fleet of ve­hi­cles.

But aside from the peo­ple who ac­tu­ally de­signed it, it’s a safe bet very few would be able to re­peat the above ex­pla­na­tion if asked by a vis­i­tor to their town.

That’s per­fectly un­der­stand­able. Like any­thing ‘ brand’ new, it’s go­ing to take a while for the new logo to catch on.

And let’s face it, not ev­ery­one is go­ing to be as “ex­cited” about it as coun­cil. Some will like it. Oth­ers may even love it. And then there may be those who will loathe it and con­sider it a costly abom­i­na­tion.

It is hu­man na­ture to re­sist change from the fa­mil­iar tried and true coat of arms. And most things new and dif­fer­ent are of­ten wide open to mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion and ridicule.

Re­mem­ber the flaps over the then new Maple Leaf flag in the 1960s; the new pro­vin­cial flag and the pitcher plant, which the prov­ince adopted as its new brand? Have you heard any­thing about them lately? As im­por­tant as it is for a logo to be dis­tinc­tive and rec­og­niz­able, you can’t ex­pect a logo as fresh out of its wrap­per as Car­bon­ear’s to be rec­og­nized or even un­der­stood im­me­di­ately. It’s go­ing to take time.

The town’s new logo will never be­come as widely rec­og­niz­able as the golden arches or the Colonel’s white goa­tee.

And even if it’s not love at first sight for you, given time, who knows, it may grow on you, just like Mr. Pear­son’s new Cana­dian flag, Christopher Pratt’s pro­vin­cial ban­ner and the pitcher plant.

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