In recent years, the car industry has assimilated some unwritten rules. For one, automakers must produce blockbuster commercials around major sporting events, lest their financial health be questioned by Monday-morning quarterbacks. Just as ironclad is the rule that their marketers must champion their clients' adherence to "brand DNA".
And at some point, whether by a cabal of industry executives and designers or by the will of the free market, it was decided that all new cars would wear a circular badge on the centre of their trunks - or "boots" in the UK. If a brand did not happen to have a corporate badge handy, tough tarmac; it was high time to go get one.
Branding gurus on New York's Madison Avenue are convinced that companies can conjure a badge as iconic as the Coca-Cola logo, Apple emblem or Ford blue oval. They are wrong, but it does not stop them from trying.
There are, however, rumblings of rebellion against the badge dictate. Non-conformity is afoot particularly in the studios of carmakers like Volvo, Chrysler and Ford. These are brands that have long been on board with the centre-badge practice, but are beginning to release products that chart new, iconoclastic courses.