Cisco's New Look

11:50 AM --

The new Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) logo looks like a cross between the zen minimalism of Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) and the friendly, rounded, snackable treats of Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN).

The new font is simple and, I guess, fun. I'm still on the fence about the stereo-equalizer look.

It's not the worst logo. Maybe there's even some Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) cartoon envy involved. Give it a 6 out of 10.

At least Cisco didn't produce some mockable name change to go with the new image. Strange logos, I don't mind. I couldn't do any better. But company names...

You have to wonder how consultants can continue to make a business out of naming startups, when so much of their work is so shockingly wrong. (See the Light Reading classic, 50 Worst Company Names.)

Last week, one exec was telling me about a consulting firm working on a name for a late-90s startup. They came back with more than 100 suggestions.

Never mind that this kills the entire purpose of getting somebody else to find a name (isn't the consultant paid to limit the choices to a few good ones?) The best/worst part was that, among the 100, they snuck in this beauty: Ox.

He swears this is true. Ox. As in "strong" and "powerful," the consultants said! Well, raise your hand if your first impressions were: "slow," "dumb," or "knee-deep in a rice paddy."

What, exactly, is the skill set that makes someone "good" at naming companies? The field's experts don't take the luck element out of finding a name, and they certainly don't add any science to the process. They do have the resources to check for trademark violations and potential offensive meanings in other languages... but does that make them better at finding the actual name?

They're guessing, just like anybody else could.

Let's all say it together: We're in the wrong business.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:16:21 PM
re: Cisco's New Look Cisco should go back to the old old logo.. the one that looked just like the golden gate bridge. Over the years they have moved away from it and stylized it more and more.

one of the most recognizable icons of the modern world is that bridge. If Cisco can't make a "brand" that is recognized by consumers world wide out of that iconic image, then Cisco has MUCH bigger problems going after consumers and consumer products than simple logo change.

Can you imagine what a true marketing genius could do with such a recognizable image to tie a brand to? What could Jobs do with the bridge? After all, look what he did with a simple piece of fruit. What could other marketing giants do with such an image.

To make the new logo.. someone must have advised Cisco to make it more rounded and "cute".. I think this is a mis-fire.

lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:38:50 AM
re: Cisco's New Look with the middle finger raised. what is the point of this excercise. new head of marketing making a splash? nothing better to do? what a waste of money.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:38:39 AM
re: Cisco's New Look Ha - i like that! Maybe Cisco is trying to tell us all something. :)
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