Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Things Just Take Time

I smile every time I drive by the Baskin Robbins on Western Avenue.

(Baskin Robbins – renowned for its 31 flavors.)

I don’t smile because I love ice cream (which I do). I don’t smile because I particularly love their ice cream (I actually haven’t tasted it in years). I don’t smile, for that matter, because I’m proud of resisting the urge to turn into their parking lot. (Most often, in fact, when I drive by the local franchise, I’ve just been to the grocery store, so if I were craving ice cream, I would have bought some already.)

I smile because of their new logo.

There’s the B (for Baskin). The straight-edged left side of that letter is blue (the rest is pink).

There’s the R (for Robbins). The straight-edged left side of that letter is pink (the rest is blue).

Combined, the initials make for a two-toned BR, and because of the colors assigned to those letters, the pink part of the B and the pink part of the R create “31.”

And here’s the reason I smile: Baskin Robbins has been around for decades. But it was only in the last year or so that somebody noticed the “31” within these initials.

I can’t help but imagine the pitch meeting, when the marketing people put up the PowerPoint presentation. There it was in pink and blue. Perhaps the most obvious logo ever to appear to mankind.

… So many of us work so hard, believing in what we do. We create product. We market our product as best we can. We find buyers.

As a very small fish in a very large pond, I appreciate driving by Baskin Robbins. I appreciate realizing how long it took for some wise soul to see it. The “31” and the logo that would eventually emerge had been there all along.

I visited my mother last October, and one evening, we were imagining what it would be like to have a substantial amount of spare cash. “If I had some money to spend,” I told her, “I would hire someone to do my marketing.”

My mother’s facial expression became sweetly curious. “You mean the grocery store?” she asked, with a certain trademark innocence.

“Right,” I wanted to reply, with my own trademark sarcasm. “The grocery store... Because if it weren’t for all those pesky trips to Ralphs and Trader Joe’s, I’d undoubtedly have a bestseller under my belt!”

Marketing is a science. The best methods change constantly, and the process takes time. It should neither be underestimated nor taken for granted.

1 comment:

Cancerella said...

Get out of my head! I had the same flash recently when I parked in front of a closed Baskin/Robbins (the shop is moving) and instead of proceeding into the nearby grocery store which was the point of the trip I just stared, transfixed, at the new logo and marveled at how a brand so old could remake it's logo into something so fresh and new compact. Compact! The perfect logo for these tweeting times, where abbreviating creativity is necessary for conveying a fully thought out message in 140 characters, including spaces.