Six Things on My Mind: Yahoo! Logo, AOL and Others

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Today’s version of the Yahoo! logo. Breathtaking, no?

30 Days of Churn: You might have heard that Yahoo! is revealing a new logo every day this month, as a build-up to the launch of the “official” new logo. They’re calling this campaign “30 Days of Change.” Legit question: Who cares? Is anyone really waking up in the morning eager to see today’s Yahoo! logo? Most every design has been evolutionary, not revolutionary, and thus unexciting – and if you’re trying to create a series, it helps to be interesting.  But more importantly, instead of another Yahoo! logo, I’d much rather they invest their resources in improving their user experience, which is the least reliable of the four email providers I use.

Who wants to work at AOL? It’s the kind of place where the CEO may fire you publicly, on a conference call, which actually happened this month. So much for whatever “corporate branding” initiatives they had underway.

Keep your eyes open: I had a simple but terrific retail experience at an Office Depot last week. I was greeted immediately, received knowledgeable assistance in locating everything I needed, and was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Two lessons: First, for many people, time is the top currency. Office Depot respected my time, and that makes me want to return. (Is there a differentiation opportunity for your business here?) Second, examples of strong branding and leadership abound. This particular Office Depot was clearly well-managed (leadership), which resulted in a great experience (branding). Look for these examples and you’ll find them (many are on the local level). And, please – acknowledge them when you do.  In a world of scathing Yelp reviews, a few words of praise for an employee can go a very long way.

Let’s start a new networking rule: If Richard asks you for a favor, and you deliver, and Richard can’t find it in himself to say “thank you,” Richard doesn’t get any more favors.

Master at work: I recently reconnected with one of the best client-service guys I’ve known. In our first meeting, some 20 years ago, he listened more than he talked, asking good questions and grasping our needs before suggesting a solution. Since then, I’ve been his client, he’s been mine, and we’ve been partners, and he’s always demonstrated a balance of humor, poise and smarts. He doesn’t overpromise and he doesn’t make excuses. He misses neither details nor deadlines. His clients universally love him. He’s not reinventing the wheel, he’s just doing all the important stuff well. And he’s never failed to grow a business significantly. Some new-business types can’t get out of their own way.  Tom’s not one of them.

Thank you. I crossed a milestone this week for page views on this blog. I want to thank each of you, my readers – for your time, emails, ideas, comments, questions, likes and shares. My goal, every time I sit down to write, is to deliver value to you. Thank you for rewarding me with your attention.

About Matthew Fenton: Matthew helps challenger brands to focus, grow and win.  Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve “brand clarity.”  His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters through positioning, strategy and ideation.  Contact Matthew here.  He calls Chicago home.

Copyright 2013 – Matthew Fenton.  All Rights Reserved.  You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.