Last week we received criticism from a 3rd party who had been reading a ‘brand book’ for creating a brand beginning with Z – “obviously a branding consultant that knew anything about anything would not do this…” well! I was so incensed by the utter and complete b*****ks regarding this that I spent 2hrs on the plane returning from Kuwait meditating on them (brand’s beginning with Z I mean!)Here is a beautifully formed list of tiny brands who are REALLY NOT struggling with z as a beginning letter to their brand name.
1. Ziess – the worlds leading manufacturer of optical instruments and binoculars (like their Strapline by the way “we make it visible”)
2. Zurich Insurance – shit z is a real problem here, and inhibiting their $70 billion revenues
3. Zanussi – kitchen appliances from Italy
4. Zinfandel – a premium Californian grape variety originally of Hungarian origin
5. Zephyr and Zodiac were leading brands made by Ford from 1950 to 1971, “They were the first to use in mass production the MacPherson Strut independent front suspension which is still widely used today” so there!
6. Zyxel – Taiwanese network products company T/O £280 million
7. Zoopla – UK property benchmarking site launched in 2008 with T/O of £7million. From nothing to number 2 property website in the UK in 2 years. Phew z really held them back…
8. Zara – Spanish clothing brand T/O E7 billion in 2008
9. Zimmer – not the frames! Worldwide leaders in orthopaedics T/O $ 4.8 billion
10. Zeneca – demerged ICI pharmaceuticals business in 1994 (merged with Astra in 1999)
11. Oh, and Xerox (sounds like a z anyway…)
Not sure what the ‘brand book’ is that they have been reading but it sounds a little bit ill informed… I can only think they were concerned about listings and directories… didn’t they go out with the ark? Since when do we ever search for anything by alphabetical order thee days! Der… Also of all the letters in the alphabet z is a cool brand in its own right – it worked for ZORO, Zapper, Ziggy Stardust, Zanzibar, Zero fighter, Zion, et al
I can take the point that many of the Z brands have a German root – but the two leaders of the ‘z’ brand in question are of German descent.
One last point – a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and there is no substitute for experience. Beware of branding without positioning, brand experts really can leave a lot of value on the table if they just design a wizzy logo even if it begins with the letter ‘a’ - … wizzy? Now that’s when z’s could be really dangerous.