No More Bull for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America

When Merrill Lynch was bought by Bank of America, the banking world knew that there would be changes. However, the latest change is one that few people expected: a change to the Merrill Lynch logo.

The old Merrill Lynch is one of the most recognizable stock market symbols in American history. It features a stylized bull, the symbol of a growing market. The Merrill Lynch bull logo is so well known that there is a statue of it in the famous New York financial district. Of course we did not feature it in our top 10 financial and banking logos article. However, this bronze statue may soon be the only remnant of the famous icon.

Merrill Lynch is undergoing the financial logo makeover as a part of its new branding campaign. Because the financial company has been acquired by Bank of America, it makes sense for this brand to be congruent with the recently overhauled parent company’s brand. Bank of America has a square logo with a red, white, and blue color scheme. The new Merrill Lynch logo will feature the company name next to the Bank of American name and logo, making it obviously a part of this larger financial picture.

Although it is no longer taking center stage in the company’s brand, the iconic bull will not be relegated to the past. It will still appear in occasional ad campaigns as well as some Merrill Lynch services.

The change from a bull to a stylized flag has obvious implications. Not only is the bull a sign of a growing market, it is also an emblem of power and aggression. A bull can be not just challenging to deal with, but actually deadly when provoked. It is precisely this image that Bank of America wishes to distance Merrill Lynch from. The new image is softer, more approachable, and less likely to be seen as threatening or foreboding by modern customers, while the patriotic color scheme and graphic will appeal to American customers. In this case, a more approachable stock market is exactly what modern people want.

The image that Bank of America is trying to forge is one of strength and unity. By combining the two brands under one central umbrella, this banking giant will be making a statement that the two parts combined make for one trustworthy and safe whole. It will be virtually impossible for customers not to realize that the two entities are part of one corporation. The appeal of this size and weight along with a friendlier image to a consumer who is shell-shocked by recent fluctuations in the financial markets cannot be overestimated.

With Merrill Lynch one of the world’s most recognized investment firms, this total rebranding is a bold decision for Bank of America. Scrapping a brand that is well-known for one that is new and unproven is always a tenuous process. However, every brand eventually sees the end of its usefulness. While the Merrill Lynch bull will always be a memorable symbol of Wall Street, it is no longer sound as a symbol of this company. These factors make now the perfect time to redo this famous brand image and to be included in our top 10 logo makeovers section.


Fighting Bull Logo Icon

Working with service-centric organizations, Agresso provides Enterprise Resource Planning solutions helping organizations minimize IT costs by utilizing a uniquely integrated data/process/delivery architecture allows unlimited post-implementation changes. Agresso is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Unit 4 Agresso (Dutch Stock Exchange EURONEXT-U4AGR) and one of the top five providers of ERP solutions for professional services and public sector organisations.

The Agresso design is a simple illustrative logo of a raging bull. The fighting bull logo icon is made up of a single silhouette of the bull’s body and head with negative space used to separate the head and the leg parts and give definition to the whole icon.

I am not too sure I like this fighting bull logo icon. It does not have the professional look of some of the bull logo icons out there.

Collection of bull logo designs

Collection of bull logo designs

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