The following is a guest post from Ennio Longo – You can follow him on Twitter here.
I was not even aware that Juventus were holding a press conference yesterday let alone that there was the introduction of a new logo. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t even sure what I was watching and then it started to sink. The responses from social media were so strong and mostly negative, with Juventus fans feeling betrayed, almost embarrassed in some way. . Other teams laugh at the modernization of the logo, correction, not the logo, but now the brand of Juventus.
Since 2010, management has hardly been wrong, but would this be their biggest failure or is it a misunderstood marketing stroke of genius that will only come to light with time? Frankly, if it’s the latter, it wouldn’t be the first time something so controversial at the start has turned into success.
First, it’s more than a logo, it’s now a brand, something bigger than 11 men on a pitch, it’s an extension of a football team that will encompass any kind of product. , promotion and service. Therefore, why is there a need to rebrand and why should it look more like a clothing or automobile company and less like a football crest?
Ten years ago, Juventus were a financial powerhouse, that was before the days of ridiculous EPL TV money, before countries started buying football teams, before kit sponsorships came close. of the gross domestic product of a developing country and before the Chinese invasion. The current reality of Serie A and football is very different.
Juventus have lost a great player to Pogba this year against Manchester United. Despite what one might say, the move, at least for this year, was all about marketing. There was absolutely no footballing reason for this move to take place in 2016. It is as much a referendum on the state of Serie A as it is on Juventus. Juventus have maximized their gate income, they are doing well with the Champions League money, but it is not a guaranteed source of income and the teams need to be able to increase their guaranteed sources. They operate from a small town compared to Madrid or Chelsea or even Naples and Rome. It’s the best house on a not-so-great street right now, as Serie A is run by an aging jerk who hasn’t done anything to modernize stadiums or increase TV revenue. Basically, they are alone.
Juventus cannot be a Turin city team, they must become a global brand and not a global football brand, but a global lifestyle brand that opens up non-traditional sources of income. There is a genius here who is underestimated for two reasons. The first is that some think it destroys the purity of the game. The second is that the reasons behind it are not fully understood or appreciated.
I think the purity of the game is a fluid concept based on a given period of time. The things that people might consider not to meet the standards for purity would be; pay players, buy and sell players, long haired players, tattooed players, facial hair players, kit sponsorship, stadium sponsorship, Catholics playing for Rangers, teams made up of ‘foreigners. If you are reading this and think some of these things are ridiculous, remember at some point that they weren’t accepted by the mainstream footballing public.
To survive, prosper and grow, change is necessary. There is a saying, the only constant in business is change. Change what your brand means, what it is and what it encompasses. It has already started; he just has one face. J Medical, J Museum, La Continassa, which is the area surrounding the stadium and may have another title in the future that starts with a J. This is not unfamiliar territory; at one point it was called The Apple Computer Company. Computers now represent about 12-13% of their sales. The “I” brand recognized the need to expand into new markets and as such allowed itself to no longer see itself as an IT company but rather as a media and communications company. This has led Apple to change the music industry (iTunes), the animated film industry (Pixar), the communications industry (iPhone), and the laptop industry (iPad). Did you know that in China, Porsche is considered to be an SUV company that builds sports cars? Is this incorrect? I remember when Porsche was only talking about sports cars, but if they make more SUVs now, right? The creation of the SUV did not take away the 911, all it did was help the company survive and gave it enough capital so that it could continue to manufacture the 911 and it did. never been better. Juventus must strive to do the same.
So why the new logo. Continuing our comparison with Apple, can you imagine if your phone had this logo on it?
Would it make sense to have a 1977 computer logo on an internet device in 2017? The new Juventus logo is no longer about the football team, but about the brand. An expansion beyond the field which must encompass everything it does and intends to do. Therefore, it should not only appeal to grassroots football fans, but also to non-football fans.
Question; how many support the team because of the logo appearance? It follows that if that number is very small, a change of logo, a rebranding will not drive out those who are there for the performance on the pitch. What it will do is invite new people and new markets.
Juventus could not have strayed further from their traditional logo than the stylized J they presented today… that’s the goal! Badges are very traditional, very footballing, but if you want to expand your brand beyond that, it needs a wider appeal. Will they mark shoes? Will they have a casual clothing line and not just sportswear. This allows them to expand beyond a football team.
I’ve seen a lot of ridicule about the fact that it took a year to come up with a J. Logos aren’t easy, but sometimes what seems simplistic is because it’s so well thought out. I don’t know but we’ll see. I know they are in good company. That year would have been devoted to studying contemporary logos, understanding how they attract the product markets they wish to enter, examining how different geographic markets react to design. Now think that we have a letter of the Western alphabet which must appeal to over 3 billion people who do not use this alphabet. It’s also a more social media friendly logo in a social media world.
Examine the simplicity of the following cutting edge logos, then compare which of the two Juventus logos would be best placed to take them to the next level.
Yes, the bull is gone, which represents the city of Turin, but it is no longer about the past and past representations, it is about the future, it is about new markets, Juventus is not a Turin brand, it is a global brand.
Ferrari, the corporate cousin of Juventus, has embarked on a similar path to ensure its survival and growth.
I can understand the backlash, but I can also see why it was done. For those who don’t think this goes back to the past, remember what Gianni Agnelli said; “I get excited every time I see a word starting with ‘I in the newspapers. “