The Co-op goes back to its roots

Author: Katie Walsh
Published: 13th July 2016

I was recently sat a petrol station when this poster caught my eye. But it wasn’t the ‘Come on England’ strapline that got my attention. It was the ‘new’ or ‘old’ should we say, Co-op clover leaf logo.

A little excited by this, I thought ‘is it making a come back?’ Hmmmm? So I did a little research and learnt that it actually was making a come back in its 1968 form.

Having worked in-house for Midlands Co-operative for a very long time, I was very much involved with the re-brand of over 200 retail Co-op stores. They bravely chose to ditch the clover leaf device in 2005 in favour of ‘The Co-operative’ brand, and Midlands Co-op proceeded to rebrand all their outlets in 2009. During that time I remember there being very mixed views on whether the new look was the way forward - some murmurs heard at head office were along the lines of it’ll be the death of the Co-op, and will destroy all its heritage.

Needless to say it went ahead. We adopted the new brand, and spent the next three years rebranding the stores. A big project to revert back to after only three years?

I was always a big fan of the clover logo and was very dubious about changing it. It’s a timeless, clever little device, that very iconic of the Co-op and it’s history. Bringing it back clearly demonstrates how ingeniously timeless it actually is. It stands strong, confident and hints at a shift back to the ideas that made the Co-op special for its customers. I think the older generation will feel nostalgic while the younger generation will see the retro logo with fresh welcoming eyes.

I did however think that ‘The Co-operative’ brand did its job, by completely modernising its somewhat dated stores and bringing them into the 21st century with a controversial bang! The Co-op was always seen as a place where older generation shopped, so a steer to entice the younger generation to start shopping there without feeling fuddy duddy worked.

Now it has captured all audiences, and reverted back to its roots. WIN WIN!

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