Motion 12: Members motion - Brand and Marketing
Votes For 96.27% / Against 3.73% - Carried
This Annual General Meeting: - recognises the benefits the Co-operative Movement has secured by unifying to create a national Co-operative Brand. The Brand represented an important step forward compared with the much more fragmented identities used by the Movement prior to its introduction - acknowledges the substantial investment made by the Group and by independent co-operative societies in the Brand. The Brand has helped our Movement raise our profile, communicate our values and compete more effectively - calls on the Board to reaffirm its commitment to the Brand and to working with other co-operative societies to maximise its future success.
This Meeting also recognises that the Brand has always been and remains a Movement-wide initiative, and that the Group holds the rights to the Brand as its custodian on behalf of the whole Movement. The Board is asked to ensure that any future evolution of the Brand is planned and implemented in partnership with the other co-operative societies which use it, for the benefit of all those societies and the Movement as a whole.
Group Board Response The Board supports this Motion, subject to the following comments:
The Board recognises the importance of a distinctive brand to support the Group’s businesses and, in particular, the launch of Meaningful Membership and the delivery of Group’s Rebuild programme. The Group will work, within the relevant legal constraints, to revitalise the Brand for that purpose.
The ownership of all Co-operative brands has now been formalised. The Co-operative Bank, in which the Group now holds a 20% interest, continues to own its registered trade mark “The Co-operative Bank” and certain other related trade marks whilst Co-operative Brands Limited (CBL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group, owns most other registered Co-operative trade marks.
As part of the governance reforms adopted in 2014, the trade mark licensing arrangements between the Group and Independent Co-operative Societies were formalised under a new federal organisation (Federal Retail Trading Services Limited (“FRTSL”)). CBL has granted non-exclusive, non-transferable licences (perpetually and royalty free) over the Co-operative trade marks which it owns (and any updates) to the Group and to those Independent Co-operative Societies which use or wish to use these trade marks, conditional upon meeting the brand standards set by the primary user of the relevant trade mark. The brand committee, a committee of the FRTSL board, is responsible for discussing and consulting the relevant brand standards to be observed by users of the brand.
Members’ Council Response The Council recommends that members support Council motion 12.