The Sendo brand sendoff
Sendo International Ltd., a United Kingdom company, serves wireless network operators in over fifty countries with products ranging from branded phones to dedicated service software to fulfillment programs. Earlier this week the company issued a press release with this breathless headline:
Sendo reveals daring new global identity
Let’s see if the news lives up to the hype:
Using a creative theme based around cherries, Sendo’s aim is to highlight its dedication to choice and build on its commitment to operators and consumers. Launched at 3GSM, this sweeping move focuses on a new and consistent global identity and messaging together with innovative execution.
Sendo’s original look and feel features a black cherry in amongst a mass of red ones. It is through the use of this simple yet striking image that Sendo will differentiate its products and illustrate its dedication to cater for operators specific needs, through choice and customisation. Along with a new identity, Sendo is also revealing its new way of thinking.
“We feel that this is a really important step forward for Sendo as a company and for its products,” said Kevin Lawless, Global Marketing Director for Sendo. “…[W]e feel that now is the time for a coherent global initiative to promote Sendo products and endorse the Sendo name with a consistent position for our range of phones that will reinforce Sendo’s market differentiators.” The YOU CHOOSE TM theme underlines Sendo’s ongoing customisation philosophy.
And those differentiators would be?
While we wish Sendo well, their new brand identity is nothing more than a high production value brand strategy, absent the brand strategy. When this occurs, you end up with a glossy brochure, or an interesting art image, rather than an evocative brand offering a compelling connection with a target audience and separation from competitors. Over the long-term the approach will prove ineffective in accomplishing what good brand strategy should accomplish for Sendo.
How often have we seen this, the ineffective message glossed over by high-production-value creative offered up as a branding solution? It’s the equivalent of hiring an accomplished interior architect to select surface paint colors. A waste of time for all involved.
Any branding project is really a positioning project – first determine the brand positioning, and the brand strategy must be developed to support the positioning. Drill down to the single best point of difference, compared to your competitors, and use this key differentiator as the beginning point for the construction of a world-class brand.
Later in the same release Sendo offers this interesting nugget:
[The name] Sendo, the Sendo logo, the Sendo “D”, YOU CHOOSE and ‘the cherries’ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sendo International Ltd.
Regrettably for Sendo, there is absolutely nothing in this cache of intellectual property transformable into a balance sheet asset for the company. Made up name with no basis in human experience + graphic art image + interesting photograph + undifferentiated tagline does not add up to a world-class brand. As for breaking new ground by adopting a cherry theme, they seem to be conveniently hoping that their fellow citizens will forget the other big fruit in the UK telecomm space, Orange, or the maker of all those ubiquitous juicy little iPods, Apple.
Sorry Sendo, life is not a bowl of cherries.