The Co-operative Group is bringing back its iconic blue cloverleaf Co-op logo, which will be rolled out across its entire business over the next few years. The move was announced during the organisation’s AGM in Manchester on 21 May, with delegates given a first look at how the logo will be used in stores and on products.
The rebrand marks the announcement of changes that put membership at the heart of the organisation. From September, Co-op members will receive a 5% reward for any purchases they make of Co-op own brand products and services, which will be paid into a membership account. Members can then spend what they save in any Co-op business whenever they want.
A further 1% will benefit local causes through a new community reward scheme. The Co-op has identified 1,500 communities around the Food stores and Funeralcare homes in its trading areas where members will initially choose the local cause they want to support from a list of three selected by colleagues in that community. Later members will be able to propose local causes they think should benefit from the programme.
According to the Co-op, this means that more than £100m a year will be going directly to members and their communities, and there are also plans to bring back the dividend once “investment in rebuilding the Co-op” is completed.
See the new-look here:
“This is what the Co-op is all about,” said Richard Pennycook, CEO of the Co-op. “Big business is often accused of taking money out of communities – we are putting it back in as we champion a better way of doing business for our members and their communities.
“Our intention is to return to paying a dividend again, but we also want to make the rewards for members who trade with the Co-op more meaningful and community focused. We’re already seeing good momentum across our businesses and this will drive further growth which our members and their communities will benefit from. It clearly demonstrates the Co-op difference being delivered every day.”
Over 70,000 Co-op employees across the UK are also taking part in a ‘Back to being Co-op’ programme, helping to educate staff about the benefits of membership and reconnect them with our heritage through 5,000 colleague events.
Alongside this, the Group outlined a five-year ambition for growth:
– To recruit one million new members
– To have 50% of sales across its businesses coming from Co-op members (currently 25% in its food business)
– To return an additional £3 million in benefits to Fairtrade producer communities by extending its sourcing commitments
– To make digital work for its businesses and its members and seek new digital opportunities to co-operate.
Allan Leighton, chair of the Co-op, said: “We are on the verge of creating a new Co-op economy, one where the trade from our members clearly benefits them, their communities and our thousands of suppliers.
“Our brand identity, whether seen on a Fairtrade bottle of wine, on a funeral home fascia or on our insurance website, will signify a better way of doing business.
Corporate use of the new logo has begun immediately, with the first stores being unveiled on Monday, 23 May. The Co-op hopes its introduction will provide “an iconic but contemporary identity which connects the Co-op with its heritage and the new membership scheme.”
The Co-op Cloverleaf was originally adopted in 1968, and later refreshed in the 1990s before it was widely replaced with ‘The Co-operative’ branding – but Lincolnshire Co-op and some other societies have continued to use the cloverleaf logo.
Discussions over rebranding the organisation began last year, with three potential new logos presented at the Group’s members’ council meeting on Saturday 5 December, by chief executive Richard Pennycook. In an interview with the News in March, Mr Pennycook said the three-year plan to reform the Group, was built upon “the past associations” of the Co-op and “150 years of doing the right thing”.
Look out for further analysis of the rebrand and membership offering here.