Can “Tradition” Be Rebranded?

Branding is an integral part of any organization, idea, or product.   It is important to have a brand that connects with customers and establishes loyalty. If this is not the case with your brand, rebranding is sometimes necessary for effectiveness of your brand. Usually companies use rebranding if they are still new and trying to establish who they really are, or if they feel like they have outgrown their current brand.

Recent news in Tallahassee has Florida State fans in an uproar. Florida State University recently announced the decision that they were doing a redesign on the iconic Seminole head, a 43 year old symbol.  Florida State has released many legitimate reasons for changing the logo, including the difficulties with the old one to recreate on the field and in embroidery, and the inconsistency in colors.

Like any good campaign, FSU has been promoting video teases to build up to the “official” release of the logo on April 11, but unfortunately it was revealed early by accident on a t-shirt in Wal-Mart. This accidental release added to the insult for fans, and some consider it a disregard by FSU to have athletic supporters decision in any part of this new symbol. Any expert would tell you that this is not the way to go about revealing a rebranding, and it will be interesting to see how Florida State will keep a positive image for the new Seminole head with both fans and former athletes vocalizing their dislike for the new logo.

A rebranding of this type challenges the definition of tradition. Yes the old logo has been used for many years; however the new one carries over some aspects while adding new elements. Should such an established brand that includes “tradition” as one of its main values ever attempt a total change such as this?   FSU is going to continue with its release, and only time will tell how fans, alumni, and athletes will adjust.