New: Legal name, and logo
Launched: March 10, 2008
Story in brief:
With refreshing candor
Elisa Steele, NetApp's SVP of corporate marketing, put the
problem this way: "The customers who loved us really love us,
but we don't have enough customers." In his March 9 blog post,
founder and EVP Dave Hitz said the company's engineering-centric
executive staff had tended to view branding "as so much
marketing bullshit," until research showed unaided name
awareness among potential customers at less that 10%. Ahah.
Could a stronger (and more consistent) brand plus more
aggressive exposure increase awareness, and customers? (See the
Hitz postings of March 9 and 18, superb launch statements by
a senior executive.)
The company, incidentally, is a $2.8 billion provider of data
storage systems whose "unified storage architecture—a single
platform for a broad range of networked environments—gives customers
the most versatile and scalable storage platform in the industry. "
Name confusion was one issue; people used both "NetApp" and the
actual legal name "Network Appliance." Solution: change the legal
name to NetApp. Design confusion, too, was an issue; apart from
being graphically weak, to many the old "nuts and bolts" symbol was
Landor won the rebranding assignment. Hitz reports that the logo
design criteria were:
1. visually distinctive
2. memorable and easy to get
3. foundation of a visual system (not just a stand-alone symbol)
4. can absorb meaning and feeling over time
... and adds that The Arc de Triomphe inspired the "blue gateway"
C.E.O. - Dan Warmenhoven
Identity design - Landor SF;
creative direction Nicolas Aparacio & J.J. Ha
Strategy: Engineers meet branding and get it!
Nomenclature: As Federal Express learned, when
your communicative name overshadows your formal name... accept
the inevitable. I just wish "netapp" was as nice a word as "fedex,"
and am uncomfortable when a name solution depends on special
capitalization to be correctly read. (But does this justify a
complete name change? Very doubtful.)
Design: I love the simple graphic strength of this
form, and its doorway reference... and that on another level
it's a monogram, an N (or is it an A?). The symbol works better,
I feel, in the horizontal than in the vertical lockup, where its
proximity to (and alignment with) the wordmark cramps it.
Finally, I'm not sure that retention of the old Helvetica Neue
letterforms (even with a little refinement) made for the best
possible combination of symbol with wordmark. But that's
quibbling. Good job all around.
Corporate Brand Matrix ratings: to