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Seeing what you get: A comparison of newspapers’ visual brand personalities and consumer perceptions
Unformatted Document Text:  However, developing visual brand equity does not necessarily mean that newspapers must completely abandon their current brands (Allen, 1981; Arnold, 1981; Frost, 2003; Garcia, 1987). Many newspapers can simply polish their existing brands to expose more of their underlying personality (Arnold, 1981; Muzellec & Lambkin, 2006; Rehe, 1985; Vanderbilt, 2002). Small adjustments in design and content might help focus a paper’s efforts, allowing them to attract a more defined target audience. Alternately, some struggling newspapers with little or no personality might benefit more from a dramatic redesign (Garcia, 1987; Muzellec & Lambkin, 2006). Losing brand equity is not always a bad thing; disposing of an unknown or negatively associated brand can be beneficial. With a rebrand, a newspaper has the chance to shake off the old, embrace the new and reinvent itself. By taking the time to internally research and re-evaluate its purpose, goals and beliefs, a newspaper can intentionally shape its visual brand and brand personality to clearly reflect both its audience and its mission. Rather than remaining bogged down in tradition, a redesign might provide newspapers with the opportunity to think outside the box and create a distinct, modern visual brand. Graphics can be completely re-imagined; visual features (e.g., size, shape, color, length, organization, etc.) can be re-invented with the reader in mind. For example, a sophisticated newspaper might use bright white paper, muted colors, black and white photos and a tall, slender page. On the other hand, an exciting paper might decide to run color illustrations, bold headlines and numerous info- 24

Authors: Jewett, Adriane. and Reinardy, Scott.
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However, developing visual brand equity does not necessarily mean that 
newspapers must completely abandon their current brands (Allen, 1981; Arnold, 
1981; Frost, 2003; Garcia, 1987).  Many newspapers can simply polish their existing 
brands to expose more of their underlying personality (Arnold, 1981; Muzellec & 
Lambkin, 2006; Rehe, 1985; Vanderbilt, 2002).  Small adjustments in design and 
content might help focus a paper’s efforts, allowing them to attract a more defined 
target audience.
Alternately, some struggling newspapers with little or no personality might 
benefit more from a dramatic redesign (Garcia, 1987; Muzellec & Lambkin, 2006). 
Losing brand equity is not always a bad thing; disposing of an unknown or negatively 
associated brand can be beneficial.  With a rebrand, a newspaper has the chance to 
shake off the old, embrace the new and reinvent itself.  By taking the time to 
internally research and re-evaluate its purpose, goals and beliefs, a newspaper can 
intentionally shape its visual brand and brand personality to clearly reflect both its 
audience and its mission.  
Rather than remaining bogged down in tradition, a redesign might provide 
newspapers with the opportunity to think outside the box and create a distinct, 
modern visual brand.  Graphics can be completely re-imagined; visual features (e.g., 
size, shape, color, length, organization, etc.) can be re-invented with the reader in 
mind.  For example, a sophisticated newspaper might use bright white paper, muted 
colors, black and white photos and a tall, slender page.  On the other hand, an exciting 
paper might decide to run color illustrations, bold headlines and numerous info-

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