Down here in Australia, Woolworths is the largest supermarket chain, a bit like a Loblaws, Tesco, or Safeway. Anyways, they decided to make a new logo, and Apple is a bit concerned Woolies is stepping on their turf.

Frankly, we’re surprised this is still water cooler conversation.

I have to be honest, when I first saw the new Woolworths logo, Apple (as in technology giant Apple) never came to mind.

So when Apple mounted a legal challenge to prevent Australia’s largest retailer from using it, it got me thinking – does anyone else see the similarity?

Woolworths insists the new logo is a stylish W or a piece of fresh produce and I have to agree with their justification. But where the issue lies and what apparently has got Apple ‘Spooked’ is the very likely chance that Woollies will diversify into a technology giant as well, making them direct competition in the Australian Market.

So I put it out to our Marketing Team here at Springfree™ Trampoline to see what they think about the similarities of the logos and Apple’s extreme action to protect its brand:

Emma, Marketing Coordinator:

Are they using the same graphic designer?

Woollies new logo is catchy and the colours suit the brand, but it does look like Woolies have gone a little stale in original ideas department…

Tanya, Assistant Marketing Manager:

Not apples and apples.

Apple don’t own every apple shape around. Think God invented the original. The Woolies brand perfectly represents the positioning they’ve been building over many years – fresh food people. Whilst I understand and appreciate the need for trademark protection, Apple are taking it a step too far – beyond being completely different categories, the visual representation and logo treatment is completely different. Even if Woolworths did market computer equipment at some future point – they’ll never have access to market Apple. It’s not a PC – it’s an Apple and there’s nothing in the world like it. Apple have given Woolies a great compliment in making this claim, however in doing so have they not lowered their own brand appeal, even a little?

What Apple’s really scared off…

What Apple’s really scared off…

Kristen, Marketing Manager

When you’re talking about technology equipment compared to an FMCG industry, it’s pretty hard to draw any linkage that could challenge Apples business or equity. Outside of category it’s hard to see the concern, but I can understand the desire to seek protection if there’s a belief it would eventually be used in their class – technology.

That said, brand protection is an interesting concept. In protecting their ‘brand’, seems like they may have threatened some of their equity and consumer love. You only have to plug Woolworths into Twitter and you get gems like:

- Apple taking a bite out of Woolworths?

- I’ve given up all hope on Apple if they act like this

- Apple’s joking, the Beatles were using one long before them…

So what hurts more – someone using a brand stamp that may or may not be a piece of fruit similar to yours, or a whole bunch of people (your consumers) thinking you’re making a big deal?


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