Branding a Family of Products.

Establishing Family Branding Increases a Company’s Visibility in the Marketplace. Since the end of World War Two the music entertainment industry has undergone vast changes. Manufacturing and production systems have gone from twelve inch vinyl recordings to compact discs – to downloadable digital files. Music distribution has gone from records to radio, TV and videos – from local to worldwide – from small companies to mega-international corporations – from production studios to garages and basements, and back to production studios. Recording labels and recording companies have been created, bought, sold, abandoned, resurrected and just simply gone out of business. The transition has been staggering.

One such company that has gone thru this type of transition is Mercury Records. A short history: founded in Chicago in 1945 Mercury grew in size and influence to the point that in 1960 the company made a worldwide distribution agreement with the Dutch electronics firm Philips International. A year later Philips bought Mercury to add to its music group. Philips subsequently merged that music group with Deutsch Polydor which was eventually merged with PolyGram. That company then acquired several other recording labels and in the late 1990’s this entire music group was purchased by Seagram and renamed the Universal Music Group. In 2000 Seagram was purchased by the French conglomerate Vivendi; forming Vivendi Universal – and, as they say, “the beat goes on.”

During one of its many transitions the Mercury Record Corporation was producing and/ or distributing thirteen product labels of its own; including Mercury Records, Philips, Smash, Fontana, Intrepid, Limelight, Pulsar, Wayside, Peachtree, and Virtue. Each label had a separate visual brand identity and a distinct target audience. This problem tended to make the parent company (Mercury) seem much smaller effecting mass distribution of the various, seemingly independent, music labels. helped to unify the many product labels under a single corporate umbrella by establishing a company-wide brand identity symbol. We then implemented a coordinated graphics branding system by including the new Mercury brandmark on all corporate, marketing, sales and packaging materials – while still emphasizing the individual recording labels. Each brand label retained its own identity, but was family-branded under the new Mercury brand identification system – thus strengthening The Corporation’s entire marketing image.

In summary, the development of the brandmark was initiated to both group Mercury’s many divisions under one coordinated program and to improve the Company’s identification in the very competitive music entertainment field. The brandmark is designed as a spherical emblem both emphasizing the world and the international distribution of Mercury’s various music products.


About Nate Marks

We live and work in a world of visual images.
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