On the 15th January Carillion filed for compulsory liquidation. A construction company that provided services such as school meals, hospital maintenance, and defence accommodation. They employed 43,000 people.
Carillion’s strapline was “making tomorrow a better place”.
At the end of January Capita’s shares dropped 45% on news of a profit warning. Capita, among other services, runs the London congestion charge, collects BBC licence fees and handles admin services for the National Health Service. They employ 73,000 people.
Their strapline appears to be “unlocking value through talent and technology”.
Their logo is the word CAPITA written in the sort of typeface you get when you choose the free BUSINESS theme.
Last week the FT reported that Interserve presented a rescue plan to banks in an attempt to secure fresh funding. Among other outsourcing services Interserve cleans the London Underground and manages the Ministry of Defence’s estate in the UK. They employ 80,000 people.
Their strapline is “Ingenuity at work”.
Their logo is a child’s drawing of a broken fire hydrant.
Brand experts always talk about finding the brand's essence. A "brand truth".
These logos, these straplines, these names are opaque, confused pieces of communication. Vapid. Devoid of meaning.
The branding people did a good job.