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3Com rebranding was portent of doom

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With this ring, I thee sack


As regular LogoWatch readers know only too well, corporate rebranding is often a sign of stormy seas ahead. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in 3Com's announcement today that it intends to lay off 3,000 staff - almost one third of its workforce.

While we sympathise with those affected, it's fair to say that they should have seen it coming. On 16 October 2000 3Com president Bruce Claflin unleashed the company's bold new corporate strategy:

When you are hoping to create something new and important, you must have the courage to fully commit yourself and the entire business to the transformation. Only in that way will your brand promise be fulfilled, and only then will you achieve your business goals, including delivering greater shareholder value.

Ok, not much to go on there. But what about that new logo? Claflin went on to say:

Another aspect of communicating its new master brand is through 3Com's new logo and graphic system. The new logo employs three rings; two of which are linked and the third is floating free. The new logo has created a lot of buzz and curiosity and that's just what we had in mind. It is a symbol that people can readily interact with, not just look at.

Oh yes, we see - a free-floating ring representing 3000 employees interacting with the dole office. Spot on. ®

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