Helios, the sun god of ancient Greece is the inspiration for the new worldwide trading logo for BP Amoco, inspired by an original marble motif in the company's London headquarters.

Unveiled yesterday, the logo is part of a global makeover for the UK-based oil colossus [WAMN, 24-Jul-00]. According to chief executive Sir John Browne, the emblem is “infinitely more practical and flexible" than the venerable BP shield, used in various incarnations over several decades.

The driving force behind much of the revamp is said to have emanated from the USA, where around fifty per cent of BP’s assets and shareholders now reside following mergers with Amoco and Atlantic Richfield (Arco) over the past two years. America also hosts around one third of the company’s 28,000 worldwide retail outlets.

Stations in the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, will sell Amoco-branded fuels, with pump liveries in Amoco's signature red white and blue stripes. Arco's gas station network on the US west coast is so strongly branded and occupies such a distinct market niche that it is excluded from the rebranding.

Concomitant with the new logo is the phased (3/4-year) global rollout of new high-tech service stations and onsite BP Connect convenience stores. The latter will retain BP’s house colours – green, white and yellow – and be split into five vending zones including catering, take-away food and drink, and internet access for maps and business use. Registered customers will be able to pay for purchases without currency or credit cards, using touch-screens.

$7 million has already been spent on research and design, while ad budgets are set to be increased by about $25m a quarter over at least the next twelve months to support the makeover.

News source: Financial Times