A Heroic Change?
Hero and Honda parted ways in early 2011 after a 25 year JV; with the Munjal family buying Honda out. As part of the agreement the Hero Group was allowed to continue using the ‘Hero Honda’ brand and mark for another 3 years but clearly the Munjal led Hero Group has wasted no time.
Enter Hero MotoCorp. The new identity created by Wolff Olins was launched on the 9th of August at the O2 centre in London, with dealers, employees and other stakeholders attending a gala event–true Indian style. The extravaganza included the launch of two new products along with the launch of the all new identity.
Wolff Olins are known for their bold and groundbreaking work. But this identity is suprisingly weak and it may be that the client killed off even the slightest hint of imagination. The abstracted ‘H’ simply does not hold together. The previous mark had red and black as the primary colours but it’s not clear whether there was enough equity to retain them. The mark was previously bastardised on a weekly basis by shabby Indian ad agencies and a stronger visual form would have made the group’s intentions clearer. The typography, which could have saved the day seems rather lazy. An uppercase ‘H’ and lowercase ‘ero’ at the same height look disconnected.
What they have got right though is the name. Hero MotoCorp gives it this right out of Detroit, RoboCop feel. Which was critical. ‘Hero’ without ‘Honda’ raised fears of a lack of technological prowess. ‘MotoCorp’ will help cross-off those early doubters–instilling a sense of confidence and it’s upto Hero to ensure the brand does not promise more than it can deliver.
At the end of the day it is almost unfair to judge any automotive brand in 2D. The exciting part will be the badge that goes on the fuel tanks. More fun to come?