Lightbulbs, Ice Cream and the Evolution of a Brand

  • July 30, 2019
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Branding is important, whether you’re a start-up just coming to market or an established business rebranding to freshen things up. The company and product name, logo and brand tagline have to do a lot: send a message, confer credibility, motivate purchases and create customer loyalty. Get it wrong and the cost can be considerable: PepsiCo’s 2009 rebranding of Tropicana is estimated to have cost $137 million in lost sales in just two months and was quickly reversed.

At Miraclon, the new independent home of KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions, we believe we have got it right. The company name came first and was easier to decide than is often the case because “Miraclon” already existed in the Kodak stable, as the brand name of a range of letterpress plates. The name combines two words that convey what we bring to the flexo packaging market: “mira” (miraculous, amazing) and “clon” (clone, or perfect reproduction).

The logo took a little more work because we wanted it to convey both our core technology – flexo plates – and our character as a new company. So the C and O represent the plate and impression cylinders, while the “no frills”, all-lowercase typography of the logo reflects our clear purpose and flatter, less complex structure. Overall, it looks modern, uncomplicated and unassuming, announcing that we are open, available and easy to do business with. The choice of orange as our corporate color acknowledges our origins within, and continuing relationship with, Kodak — combine Kodak’s famous red and yellow and you get Miraclon orange.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering where lightbulbs and ice cream come in. Among the challenges the branding team faced, one of the most difficult was establishing a new corporate brand – Miraclon – alongside a product brand – KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions – that is already a market leader, with a decade of innovation behind it. We have to ensure that the market understands how these brands work together.

In the lightbulb analogy, Miraclon is the bulb, and KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions is the light the bulb produces. Just as in the ice cream market, Unilever is the lightbulb and Ben & Jerry’s the light. KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions – our product brand – is our primary outward presence in the industry, while Miraclon does all the work behind the scenes: the R&D, the marketing, the channel support, the service support, and so on.

And so, the final piece of the branding puzzle falls into place, the brand tagline: “KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions: Brought to life by Miraclon.” A new home, a new name, but the same commitment to innovation.