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Kiwi Bank Identity Cause For Concern

Kiwi Bank Identity Cause For Concern Says Brand Specialist

The similarity between the recently launched Kiwi Bank identity and one launched 18 months ago for AgResearch has raised alarm bells with a leading New Zealand brand identity and design specialist.

Imagination, creators of the original AgResearch identity, acknowledge that while copying may well be flattering the wider implications of Kiwi Bank’s apparent actions should cause concern for their client and potentially other businesses and brands as well.

“What was developed, through a carefully structured process, as a high quality, world class symbol of excellence and standards for AgResearch has now seemingly been directly copied by Kiwi Bank and their designers,” said Brad Green, Imagination’s managing director.

“One would have thought that with a blank canvas something original would have been developed and would have, as in processes we use, included such fundamental branding issues as differentiation and a process of ascertaining whether any similar marks exist.

“The launch of the identity, I believe, not only has the potential to seriously undermine our client’s brand but the possibility also exists that Kiwi Bank will try to assume full ownership of, and rights to use, what is now clearly the AgResearch brand.

According to Brad Green, there is a clear issue of compromise as the two brands will cross in the marketplace and will inevitably cause confusion to the point that only one would be able to remain.

“The brand is as much a symbol of business as it is one that embodies core values and organisational culture. To the shareholders, stakeholders, employees, clients and end beneficiaries of their work—the New Zealand public—the AgResearch brand represents life science innovation, leading edge practice and a world class mark of excellence.

“This is obviously far removed from what Kiwi Bank seeks to become, yet they have the advantage of leveraging off AgResearch’s values while at the same time undermining their brand.

“While I obviously can’t predict what the outcome will be, I will be advising my client to actively defend their brand and intellectual property to ensure it remains theirs and not Kiwi Bank’s.

“If asked whether such obvious mimicking will cause damage to our client’s
brand my answer clearly will be ‘YES’,” he said.
ends

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