Have you seen our new logo? What do you think? It's designed with the future in mind but we hope you'll agree, it has elements which remain firmly rooted in our past. I appreciate that may not mean much to many of our younger customers but to Marketing bores like me, 'heritage' and other rather pretentious-sounding terms like 'brand value' are quite a big deal, especially when there are changes in the air. We felt it was important to establish some sort of continuity where we could without compromising the change of direction we wanted.
So if, like me, you've been around for more of our 147-year history than you'd care to admit, here's a reminder of the way our logo has evolved over the years. If you're too young for all that – or too new to Robinsons, here's a brief history lesson about us:
'Robinsons Saddlery' was the name, written in various 'old-style' typefaces from 1867 to around 1980. Tradition was the order of the day, even in the 1970s, both in describing ourselves as a 'Saddlery' - when even then, our range extended well beyond leatherwork - and in the typography we used. We weren't alone: most of our competitors portrayed themselves in exactly the same way, back then – and some still do!
For a short time in the early 1980s (around the time we opened the UK's first equestrian superstore at Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan), we dropped the out-dated 'Saddlery' term and billed our offering as 'Equestrian & Country Sports', which proved a little too 'wordy'. Soon after, we refined it to the more succinct 'Country Leisure' and incorporated it into our new oval logo. We'd been using a red stripe on our show unit for many years so red seemed the obvious colour for us to choose.
With our mail order service in its infancy, we decided to stop doing the show circuit and concentrate on the power of our catalogue to make our name. Suddenly there was no reason to stick with red, which mainly differentiated us from the competitors pitched nearby. There was little or no competition in the catalogue world so in the late 1980s, we decided to go for a colour that reflected 'Country Leisure' more obviously: green.
At the dawn of the new millennium, we felt that we needed to update our increasingly staid and 'boxy'-looking logo. Internet use was taking off and, being at the forefront of equestrian web shopping, we needed to look more current and up-to-date than ever. We kept the green, reinstated the oval but went for funkier lower case typography and a subtle horseshoe to show our equestrian pedigree. The white crescent 'smile' was 'borrowed' from other companies like Argos, Amazon and Tui after we read an article that suggested it helped add a positive vibe.
So, after numerous changes throughout our 147-year history, we think we've arrived at something that sums us up as neatly and concisely as possible. Something which fits on a web page, a shopping bag, a staff uniform and everywhere else we'll need it to appear and something that carries on the spirit of the Robinsons name as we approach our 150th year!
In a fast-moving world where attention spans are shorter than ever, this logo tells you at a single glance who we are, what we do and where we can be found. Like the horse on the logo, we feel we're also galloping forward into the future, full of confidence!