Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Will HKPO Take a Request?


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has recently changed its 30-year-old logo for a new one to the surprise of its fans. Well, the surprise came with displeasure. In fact, the fans are so disappointed that a Facebook page, BRING BACK THE PREVIOUS HKPO LOGO was set up to protest. As of this writing, it has 166 supporters. Well, 166 may not sound like a lot, but the page is only 6-day-old. To put 166 into perspective, I have my Facebook page up since January of this year and I only got 151! I know a noted classical music writer who has set up his Facebook page since March 2011 has 163!

At the core of the protest is the fact that the previous logo is a better representation of the orchestra. The protest is about the total riddance of the previous one to give way to the new one. As one netizen Eric Li posted on Facebook stated, “The dragon logo is one of the best around the world! The new one looks like an amalgam of HSBC and Fairwood Fast Food.” Another netizen Steven Co posted, “The old one was a beautiful logo full of character and identified HKPO as a Chinese music ensemble... I thought it (the new one) looks like a butterfly or a modern hammer and sickle! Well, HKPO, you got it very wrong this time!!!”

As what Al Ries and Laura Ries, co-authors of “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding”, the most frequently violated law of branding is consistency. “Markets may change, but brands shouldn’t. They may be bent slightly or given a new slant, but their essential characteristics (once those characteristics are firmly planted in the mind) should never be changed.”
  
In the meantime, the HKPO has responded and explained that the new logo represents “conductor's baton movements”. Needless to say, this didn’t go down well with the fans. As Steven Co’s follow-up comment stated, “It is about having a very good well-liked logo that represents the Chinese city, the Chinese community it serves, the orchestra and the music that has now been reduced to a logo that represent only the conductor and looks like a corporate logo of Swire.” Others also echoed this sentiment; Mun Tam posted, “Can the conductor's baton movement represent HK and HKPhil? The previous logo represents HK and Music, the image is very clear and much better.
I don't see the need for changing logo.” Tszhim Ng posted, “And why replace a clef - used by many musicians in the orchestra - with a baton gesture used only by the conductor? Seriously... If they had wanted a more modern look they could have based it on the original icon, which is consider an excellent, effective design.”

So, will the HKPO get off its high horse? Is it too proud and elite to ever consider a simple and reasonable request from its stakeholders? OR will HKPO take a request?

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