Realtor Logo Redesign Fail Makes Entertaining News

I’m sure that all of you spend your days pondering what exactly a realtor is and that you have a highly emotional attachment to the current realtor logo. Well, for some reason the National Association of Realtors (NAR) decided that the 45 year old logo needed updating. Three days ago we received an email from NAR announcing their new logo. Here is what they came up with – old logo on the left with the new logo on the right.

Notice the dramatic shift. As the email explained:

Your new REALTOR® block R logo maintains the equity and recognition of the current bold, powerful and trusted trademark, yet modernized to meet the realities of today’s marketplace and digital distribution. We’ve referred to the new logo as a “new dimension”, which reflects an organization that has become more dynamic, fast-moving, member-centric and future focused.
A new dimension also showcases our multi-faceted members, because we know that real estate is, and always will be, a people-focused business.

Well, reaction was swift and negative. In fact, realtors puked on the whole idea. Here are some snippets of comments from a Facebook group for realtors that I belong to:

I won’t change one bit of my marketing materials for this boring piece of crap. (from a guy using the realtor logo as his Facebook profile picture)
It’s AMAZING!!!….Said no one ever..
It gives the illusion of a whole new dimension…Wait…no… sorry….Same crap. Did someone get paid for that?
I think it looks like something my son could have done in art and for way less $$$
Is this an Onion [story]?
All they did is turn it wtf
1987 called and says it would like it’s design team back.
Retake, Realize, Revolve, Real, Remedy, Ready, Ridiculous, Rendering, Randy, Restricted, Redone, Roar, Restroom, Right, Rant, Rave, Remission, Remember…..Hey John Q Public, we Realtors immediately know what this stands for…….do you????? At least put the name Realtor back in the equation!

That’s just a sample. There were some pretty funny gifs thrown in also. A lot of the comments centered on the fact that this effort was rumored to have cost $250,000. Yeah, that’s the number floating around but that wouldn’t include the many millions more in costs to change every instance of the logo on the planet including, letterhead, printed material, signs, Web sites, and pins. Yeah, people wear the pins sometimes.
It only took two days for the NAR to put the logo transition on hold. They posted a statement on their Web site about the realtor brand evolution, asking for additional feedback, but mostly explaining the decision to redo the logo and why they took the direction they did.
Frankly I think the NAR has broader and more serious marketing issues than their logo. For one, the public (and I for that matter) don’t really understand the difference between a realtor and a real estate agent. This was actually brought up several times in that Facebook group. The issue is that all realtors are real estate agents and probably 99% of all real estate agents are realtors. Yeah, you have to agree to abide by a set of ethical standards to be a realtor and you have to play by their rules – e.g. arbitration and mediation – but if you want MLS access you have to be a realtor. Oh…and you have to pay dues to be a realtor.

Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy makes realtors look like clowns.

And this isn’t the NAR’s first marketing fail IMHO. Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy is a clown but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the show’s writers made him a realtor because of public perception of realtors as insincere charlatans. It gives the writers lots of material to work with.
Nevertheless, a year or two ago the NAR entered into some kind of marketing campaign tied into the show, using Phil Dunphy as a spokesperson for realtors. Huge fail. And the membership noticed that one too.
#RealEstateAgents #Realtors #NAR
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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