Friday, November 04, 2005

Revitalizing a Brand

The Quark Corporation has been going through a transformation, which, very recently, required the redesign of their company logo. For those who don't know the saga, for years Quark has been the premier publishing software in graphic design and desktop publishing. All through the 90's it held its own against all also-rans. I was an avid Quark user myself, since version 3.0.

But during that time Quark developed the reputation of being an unresponsive company. In fact, I've experienced this first hand. They used draconian security measures to avoid software piracy, but left their customers in a quandary. They were very slow in adding essential features, including compatibility to Mac OS X. They never fixed that pasteboard problem. (A user would understand.) And if you ever had a problem, their customer service was atrocious to the point of hostility.

Fast forward to today, and Adobe came out with InDesign. This was to solve the problem of Quark's dominance. But the first iteration of the program was a bit of a joke. And Quark was laughing. But not anymore. In fact, InDesign has won over hardened Quark users like myself, and continues to eat at any market share Quark has left.

Well, to make a long sad story short, Quark has a new CEO now, and he wants Quark to change its ways. Quark's new moniker is that they are responsive now, and sorry for the past. They have repented and have seen the light (at least financially). And all this dovetails into a new brand makeover.

I like their approach, but I am settled with InDesign right now. After suffering abuse, I am not willing to go back to Quark. And I get a sense that other former Quarkians feel the same way. Graphic design can help Quark establish a new ethos, but winning back defectors will probably not happen. But this is a good approach with the graphic design student and uninitiated audience, and I hope Quark lives up to their brand promise. Because, no makeover will help unless they deliver--consistently over a long period of time.

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