“We don’t need a new logo”, I said. “We need a new BRAND!”
“Hmm…zeitgeisty. I like it.” said the Manager of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. “How do we do that, then?”
“Ah, don’t you worry about a thing. I’m onto it!”
A few phone calls later and Simon Cotterrell, Strategic Partner of the London-based Goosebumps Brand Consultancy was lured to the Czech Republic partly by the prospect of rebranding a major international symphony orchestra and partly by the promise of three different densities of dumpling on a single plate. Towards the beginning of the process, we found ourselves seated in consultation with eight musicians from the orchestra keen to contribute to their imminent and shiny new brand.
František, Father of the Orchestra and Leader Of The Violas, spoke for all.
“We’d like to thank you. At last, after all these years, someone is finally listening to us.”
“You’re very welcome,” said Simon. “It’s so important that the image of the orchestra that we project to the world reflects the image that the orchestra has of itself.”
We all spent a few moments nodding and concurring.
“Let’s begin with with a simple exercise. If you were to compare the orchestra to an animal, which animal would that be?”
The orchestra members thought about this for a while.
“Kočka!”, said Maruška, Leader Of The Orchestra. “We are a cat! We are sleek. We are cunning. We pounce!”
Nobody seemed convinced.
“OK”, said Simon. “That’s a good start. Does anyone else have any other ideas?”
The players mulled.
“Lev!”, said Mikuláš Of The Oboes, after a minute. “We are a lion! We are proud. We are strong. We ROAR!”
Everybody laughed at him.
“Good. Good. Any other suggestions? How else do you see yourselves? Something not quite so…catty, perhaps?”, said Simon.
The musicians looked uncomfortable. I suspected they had already exhausted their extra-farmyard bestiary.
“OK,” said Simon reluctantly. “Let’s move onto another exercise.”
“No, wait!”, said Tomaš Of The Second Violins. “We are a fretka!”
Everyone nodded vigorously. If there was one thing that could be agreed upon, it was that the orchestra was a fretka.
“I don’t suppose anyone knows what a “fretka” is in English?” said Simon.
“Could you describe it, perhaps?”
“It’s long and it’s hairy.”
“It’s not long. It’s small. And it’s certainly not hairy”
“Makes a wonderful pet.”
“Could someone get a dictionary, please?”
A Czech-English dictionary the size of a Millets shoebox was sourced and handed to Simon who opened it, looked up “fretka”, closed it, wrote something in his notes and said to me “Great. Job done. Let’s move onto the next exercise, shall we?”
While he quizzed the orchestra members about audience/musician interaction and the role of dumpling density in performance practice, I leaned over and looked at his notepad where he had scrawled in big felt-tip capitals:
“BRNO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA – THE BLACK-FOOTED FERRET OF CLASSICAL MUSIC”
For more information on the brilliant work Goosebumps did with us, click on the logo below to visit the Goosebumps website…