Studio Ralph Booms Studio Ralph Booms

How a brand loses its soul

In 2007, a recruitment agency by the name of Sargas commissioned Dawn, then a recently established branding agency, to handle its rebranding. Sargas was a successful company and did lots of work with public sector organisations, but it suffered from low brand awareness. So, Dawn came up with a new name: Maandag® (Monday) — an in-your-face identifier for a “new” brand that would be relaunching with a new mission: make Monday everyone’s favourite day of the week.

We came on board to create the brand’s new visual identity, and found that no one in recruitment was as yet taking advantage of the colour green; so we did, and within no time had ourselves a fresh-looking brand and an accompanying launch campaign. The execution earned Dawn an Effie and two SAN Accent awards.

A new campaign has since followed, and other agencies have imitated Maandag®’s distinctive visual style. Its website has grown in leaps and bounds, and the brand’s presence in the market is assured.

So why is it that Maandag® now comes across in photographs and in the recent TV ad like your standard corporate recruitment agency? And what are we to make of that “green blood” business? It all feels somewhat impersonal, cold even, and less distinctive. And though the brand retains a patina of freshness, I miss the emotional qualities that drew you to it in the first place and made it so easy to connect with. That friendly and unpretentious tone of voice, its playful yet serious manner, and not a slick-looking actor in sight. Remember the dancing exec waiting for the lift? Brilliant.

What we’re talking about here is one of the trickiest tasks that companies must perform today: retain a brand’s core identity and vision. Protect and nurture it internally and articulate it with consistency externally.

Maandag® appears to have lost its soul, and as a good friend of mine often says: “Money is one thing, but soul is another.”

See you next Maandag®.

Call +31 (0)6 14 44 11 83 or email us to take the first steps towards a successful brand.