Public Agenda’s investigations have unearthed the fact that Mrs Osei changed the logo of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) during her tenure as head of that institution. Mrs Osei was the Chair of the NCCE from 2011 to June 2015.
The EC on Tuesday outdoored a new logo as part of its five-year strategic plan, which spans from 2016-2020. According to Mrs Osei, the five-year strategic plan is to fill the void that has been created since 2009, when the ten-year strategic plan of the EC expired. She explains that the new logo is part of rebranding the EC. The strategic plan, new logo and website are the first most visible of changes since Charlotte Osei was appointed in June 2015.
“That is our new logo. We like it, we picked it, it makes us happy,” the EC boss said with glee at the launch of the strategic plan. The new logo, she states, reminds the Commission of all the values it wants to bring to its work.
The new logo has elicited a barrage of public criticism, with some contending that the EC has plagiarised the logo of an educational institution in Turkey. To her accusers over plagiarism, Mrs Osei argues that if the said institution thinks the EC has infringed upon its rights it can resort to the law for redress.
The EC has used the old logo, consisting of the iconic Coat-of-Arms and a ballot box, for the past 24 years until it was jettisoned.
Explaining the meaning of the new logo, Mrs Osei said the blue in the circle represents unity, stability and independence of the Commission. The inward moving arrows reflect the coming together of the people of Ghana to select their political leaders.
She explains the removal of Coat-of-Arms from the old logo, saying the insignia represents the authority of the government, and having it in the Commission’s logo undermines its legal and functional independence.
Meanwhile, Dr Ransford Gyampo, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, has rebutted the claim by the EC’s Chair that the Coat-of-Arms represents the authority of the government, and having it in the Commission’s logo undermines its legal and functional independence.
Dr Gyampo submits that the Coat-of-Arms represents the authority of State and not the government, and since the Electoral Commission is a state institution there is nothing wrong if it uses the Coat-of-Arms.
Meanwhile, a Professor of Communications, Mr Kwame Karikari, says he finds very strange Mrs Osei’s assertion that she does not know the cost of the rebranding. According to Prof Karikari, the rebranding will have far-reaching implications for the Commission, since all of its offices, vehicles, stationery and other communications materials will have to bear the new logo. Thus, it defies reasoning for Mrs Osei to claim that she does not know cost of the rebranding.
A logo is one of the elements of branding. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.” According to Keller (2008), a brand is something that has created awareness, reputation and prominence and other attributes in the market place.
A brand is thus a product or service whose dimensions differentiate it in some way from other products or services designed to satisfy the same need. These differences may be functional, rational, or tangible—related to product performance of the brand. They may also be more symbolic, emotional, or intangible—related to what the brand represents or means in a more abstract sense (Kotler & Kevin, 2009).
Keller (2008) recognises the fact that although firms provide the impetus for the brand creation through marketing programmes and other activities, ultimately a brand is something that resides in the minds of consumers. He adds that “a brand is perceptual entity rooted in reality, but it is more than that—it reflects the perceptions and perhaps even the idiosyncrasies of consumers” (Keller, 2008, p.10).
A brand, Kotler & Kevin (2009) note, is in many ways the most precious business asset owned by a firm. It allows a firm to communicate consistently and efficiently with the market.
Branding describes the values generated in the minds of people as a consequence of the sum total of marketing communications effort. It is a strategy to differentiate products and companies, and to build economic value for both the consumer and the brand owner.
Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders. Often, this involves radical changes to a brand’s logo, name, legal names, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. Such changes typically aim to reposition the brand/company, occasionally to distance itself from negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket; they may also communicate a new message a new board of directors wishes to communicate.
Rebranding can be applied to new products, mature products, or even products still in development. The process can occur intentionally through a deliberate change in strategy or occur unintentionally from unplanned, emergent situations, such as a “corporate restructuring,” “union busting,” or “bankruptcy.” Rebranding can also refer to a change in a company/ corporate brand that may own several sub-brands for products or companies.
Against the aforementioned facts, many have questioned the type of new or different image and reputation the Electoral Commission seeks to establish in the minds of its stakeholders through its rebranding.
Source: PA Investigative Desk