The new CK: Kalashnikov unveils new brands, fashion range

Kalashnikov, Russia’s legendary firearms producer, has revamped its corporate image, unveiling a new “CK” red-and-black logo – not to be confused with Calvin Klein – a new slogan, three streamlined weapons brands and its own survival gear.

The Siberian weapons maker paid more than $380,000 for the rebranding campaign, launched in a public presentation Tuesday.

The new Kalashnikov logo is a“CK”written in black and red and melded into a single block. The abbreviation stands for Kalashnikov Concern, as the producer now calls itself.

The colors were borrowed from the flag of Udmurtia in western Siberia, the region hosting Kalashnikov’s main facilities, the company said in a statement. The logo is accompanied by the company’s name written in Russian.

The firearms producer also has a new slogan, or rather two different slogans. In English, it’s “Protecting Peace,” but in Russian it translates as“Weapons of Peace” or “Weapons of the World,” depending on which meaning of the Russian word “mir” is used.

The ambiguity missed in the English version is meant to stress both the prevalence of Kalashnikov firearms in the world and its producer’s mission to provide nations and individuals with the means to protect themselves.

Kalashnikov revamped the three brands of firearms it produces for military, civilian and sports weapons. The most famous military brand remains eponymous to the producer, but gets a new logo as well.

Now Kalashnikov rifles sold to armies and police will be marked with a K, containing the distinctive image of a curved Kalashnikov rifle magazine.

“Kalashnikov is a legendary weapon known throughout the world,” said Tina Kandelaki, the TV presenter who heads the PR firm that developed Kalashnikov’s new brand. “For our country Kalashnikov is one of the national symbols. That’s why we worked on rebranding the company with pride and realization of the responsibility we took upon us.”

The concern wants to use its new brand to expand its presence on both domestic and international markets through better product recognition. In addition to firearms, it plans to sell Kalashnikov-branded survival gear, including hunting knives and outfits.

The cost of the rebranding was paid by Kalashnikov’s private shareholders, who own a 49 percent stake in the company. A controlling stake belongs to the Russian government through Rostec, a technology giant created to protect and nurture high-tech industries in the country.

“A brand is a considerable asset for any leading company, although we have a long way to go to Apple’s $100 billion brand,” Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti. “I hope Kalashnikov will become as recognized and valuable.”

In addition to Kalashnikov military firearms, the concern produces “Baikal” hunting rifles and“Izhmash”precision rifles for competition shooting.
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