Last month, I attended "back-to-school night" at my four-year-old’s preschool, where the teacher spelled out my daughter’s curriculum for the school year. Not only did she inform me that my kid would be learning eight languages plus calculus by the time Christmas rolls around; she also told me that I should not pack her lunch box with cookies, chips, or sugary juice boxes, as that would be a major Montessori faux pas. (Personally, I’m surprised they don’t have an organic chef on staff, given how much I’m dishing out in tuition.)
Like the vast majority of Americans, it was used and it was crap. Reliable it was not; in fact, I can assure you that my first car was made out of metal, plastic, and betrayal.
I was reminded of this car when I come across a few slickly produced commercials for Mercedes’ “certified pre-owned sales event” recently. Virtually indistinguishable from new car ads, these soothingly voiced 30-second spots touted the irresistible benefits of certified pre-owned vehicles, presumably for the luxury buyer on a budget.
Ah, a new year, and a new chance for tired, lagging brands to redeem themselves to consumers. Last year was a good year for many companies to step out with new identities. Just run through our slideshow of 2010's best brand redesigns. But in that same slideshow, you'll also spot the two biggest stinkers: United/Continental's crappy merger that ditched eons of design history, and of course, the ill-fated Gap disaster. How does a brand move its identity forward without alienating longtime fans or -- maybe worse -- the design community?