BP: Branding Petroleum

 

How does British Petroleum, which branded itself Better
Petroleum, overcome its Bad Publicity and solve its Branding
Problem?

One thing they could do is switch back to using the name Amoco, which the Bad Parent-company bought in 1998 and eventually absorbed.

Originally founded as Standard Oil Company in 1889 by John
D. Rockefeller, Amoco was later absorbed into the American Oil Company
founded in Baltimore in 1910 and incorporated in 1922 by Louis
Blaustein and his son Jacob. While most oil companies were switching to
leaded gasoline during the mid-to-late 1920s, American Oil chose to
continue selling  its premium-grade lead-free gasoline, decades before
the environmental movement of the early 1970s led to more stringent
auto emission controls.

If BP (Better Punished) does reclaim Amoco, it will doubtless look to its legacy of corporate identity. Amoco’s logo was originally designed in the ’20s by Lucian Bernhard, and later transformed into the Standard logo (not designed by Bernhard).

Since BP (Back Pay) may not be able to afford a new logo, here are
some of the vintage Amoco logo applications you may be seeing at a gas station near you.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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