The success of an organization relies as much on the recognition of its brand as it does on the quality of its product. Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, and LG Electronics all know it. And we know them the instant we see Mercedes-Benz’s three-pointed star, Coca-Cola’s red and white script, and LG’s smiling face.
It’s the same idea behind our Strengthening Rotary initiative. By refreshing our logo and creating a contemporary, clear, and consistent message about who we are and what we do, we’re enhancing our legacy as one of the most widely recognized and respected humanitarian organizations in the world.
During last week’s International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, Rotary’s incoming class of district governors saw training materials, posters, video graphics, photography, and messaging that reflect our updated look and voice.
Nearly half of the incoming governors told us that their districts and clubs have already started adopting the revitalized visual identity. They shared business cards, brochures, and websites that have incorporated the modern logo and colors.
The International Assembly offers a unique opportunity to hear what’s on the minds of our district leaders. Here is what they had to say about Rotary’s refreshed visual identity.
What do you think about Rotary’s revitalized look and voice?
Antonio Arroyo Reyes, District 4060, Dominican Republic: We like the fresh colors of the logo and particularly the addition of the word “Rotary.” It makes it a true logo where the general population can connect the Rotary wheel with the organization.
Jean-Eric Vigier, District 1670, France: My only regret is that the new visual identity doesn’t reflect the internationality of Rotary since the word “international” has disappeared.
Zenkyo Sasaki, District 2670, Japan (Ehime): I like its modern look. However, it is not consistent with the membership pin. That might become an issue.
Have you started using the updated visual identity in your club and district communications?
Elizabeth Smith Yeats, District 6400 (parts of Ontario, Canada & Michigan, USA): I have had great success in matching the phrases to every aspect of my club and district. Creating a membership piece? Join Leaders! Inviting folks to a training event? Exchange Ideas! Planning a service project? Take Action!
Jagdishbhai Patel, District 3051, India: Change is always good. I'm happy to have a new look for Rotary and I will encourage all my clubs to implement it so that Rotary in India has a more consistent look all across the country.
Haruo Watanabe, District 2780, Japan (part of Kanagawa): We all have the emblem printed on our business cards. The emblem with yellow and blue looks richer. Also, if it’s in yellow only, you can’t see it well from a distance.
What has been the reaction from your clubs?
Guillermo Soto Luzardo, District 4380, Venezuela (Western part): At the Zone 21A GETS (governors-elect training seminar), we had a corporate image expert conduct a workshop. The room was split: for and against the new image. In the end, the majority had a positive reaction to Rotary’s new visual identity.
Manuel Sánchez Recinas, District 4160, Mexico: Change has been very hard to accept for District 4160 Rotarians. They very much identify with the old logo and the gold and blue.
Jean-Paul Escolar, District 1650, France: In the business world, companies change their logos every five years or so. It might be a bit difficult to understand for Rotarians who are doctors, lawyers, etc. A few others complain that it is an expensive initiative but they do not understand the long term benefits.
How will a stronger identity enhance Rotary’s public image?
Kenneth Dresser, District 7680, North Carolina, USA: Using the templates available from the Rotary Brand Center will go a long way to producing press releases that will be picked up and used by local and national media.
Elizabeth Smith Yeats, District 6400 (parts of Ontario, Canada & Michigan, USA): Every major corporation with a long history updates its brand identity periodically. By doing so, we become visible to younger potential Rotarians who may have dismissed the historic, more dated look as something only for their parents.
Patrick Eakes, District 7690, North Carolina, USA: Thanks to you, your colleagues, and senior Rotary leadership for having the foresight to make our new identity so attractive. We can maintain our 109-year-old core values -- those that are the essence of Rotary -- while making our brand more attractive to those we hope will join us in improving our world.
See examples of how clubs are Putting Our New Look to Work
Share how your club is using the visual identity on Pinterest with #rotarystory