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07 July 2015

What Will the Top Gear Brand Be Like Under Chris Evans?

Like us at CMA, we are sure there are many of you who have been avid viewers of the BBC’s most profitable (and arguably most popular) TV programme; Top Gear. As change is now afoot, we are wondering whether Chris Evans will be able to take the Top Gear brand on from where it is, in a positive and upward curve.

Evans is a consummate professional and highly intelligent broadcaster but he does have a difficult job on his hands in terms of restoring the integrity of the brand that Jeremy Clarkson sadly tarnished. When his pugilistic outburst hit the headlines, it was obvious that he considered himself bigger than the show and, as guardian of the Top Gear brand, should have known better.

Well, we’re not going to get involved in the storm of HR issues that emanated from that contretemps but instead, as brand managers for many of our clients, it’s made us examine the whole concept of a brand.

Branding - It's Not Just a Logo

When you stop and think about your company, you know it stands for many things, apart from the products you make or service you provide. They are the values that make your business a complete living entity and when combined, they influence the way it is perceived by the outside world in your target market, differentiating it from your competitors.

The way the CEO (or say, main presenter) treats his customers, staff and even people who aren’t stakeholders in the business such as shop assistants (or perhaps even producers), has a trickle-down effect on the whole business. So you can bet that the grumpy way you may be greeted in the reception of a business you deal with is probably only a reflection of life at the top.

So it’s possible therefore to understand that a company logo will ultimately take on the persona of the business, which is why we, in a creative role, are at such pains to try to understand what a client’s brand values are, before beginning the process of finessing the visual identity that announces its presence in brochures, ads, websites etc.

Mess With the Brand at Your Peril

Creating a brand strategy and implementing an ongoing evaluation of the company’s brand identity will imbue all its stakeholders with a sense of ownership and protection. Which is why the entire Top Gear episode is such a puzzle to us - how could a market leading global brand be put in such a position that its brand values would be completely up for grabs again?

No doubt Chris Evans will be thinking hard about what the brand values of the new Top Gear will be. Jeremy Clarkson was first and foremost a wordsmith and journalist; Chris Evans is a showman and presenter, so there is bound to be a restructuring of the brand. This is certain to affect audiences and we are sure that the BBC, as well as the rest of us in petrolhead-land, will be waiting with bated breath to see in which direction the brand will be taken.

So, How is YOUR Brand Doing?

To further explain the process and conduct a preliminary brand audit for your company, we would be happy to give you and your board two hours of our time at our own cost with absolutely no obligation. Click here to arrange an appointment.