Pfaff at Pfizer

Mark My Words #4

Pfizer just unveiled a new corporate identity, completing a lengthy process. Thousands participated in focus groups, hundreds of possible designs were considered, and multiple agencies and brand consultancies gave their ideas. The company wants to communicate that it’s no longer just a pill. The new design is meant to represent the new technology they offer, as well as a more wholistic approach to wellness and prevention.

No doubt, these are all important things for the brand to convey as it transitions from being merely a pill-maker to a pioneer in new science and treatment. And the new logo is OK. However, it seems to me as though the intensity of this years-long process reflects a malaise in corporate branding at large, and its addiction to lengthy, time-serving processes. Increasingly, the world is run by 'Homo Bureaucraticus'.

As DesignWeek reports, multiple consultancies were brought in to assist with the re-brand, in a project that lasted over 18 months—longer than the development of the vaccine. If nothing else, the universal press that Pfizer gets due to what it actually produces should remind us that Pfizer is much more than its logo. Let’s be grateful that brand consultants are not responsible for the vaccine, otherwise it’d be another three years before we got the jab. At which point, it might still be being focus-grouped…