March 21, 2013

For the love of Gap, don’t crowd-source your new logo

The next time you want to see what the general public thinks about your new logo…don’t.

The next time you want to see what the general public thinks about your new logo…don’t.

The list of brands that have gone through a massive rebranding effort — only to cave into online peer pressure and revert back to their old identities (Tropicana, The Gap, University of California) — continues to grow.

As someone who makes a living rebranding companies, this troubles me.

Foremost, people who comment on Internet threads usually aren’t professional marketers or branding experts. They’re the same people who take half-naked pictures of themselves making duck faces in the mirror, then film a video of their buddy eating a tablespoon of cinnamon.

They don’t understand the hundreds of nuances that go into building a brand.

Like the competitive landscape assessment that revealed if the logo were sage green, not only would it stand out in the marketplace, but it would also play to your brand’s perceived strengths of environmental sustainability, for example.

Or the fact that you chose a modern san serif typeface because, after doing perception surveys, you discovered people considered your product outdated and it would help to address those misperceptions.

People trash brand makeovers for several reasons. First, the Internet makes it easy. A few keystrokes and a fake username is all it takes to unearth months of brand research. Secondly, the Internet is cruel. Ever read the comment section on a design blog? It’s suffering not seen since Dante’s ninth level of hell.

So the next time you want to see what the general public thinks about your new logo…don’t.

Have the courage to stand by your convictions. If you’ve worked with professionals who know the market, understand your corporate challenges and have made recommendations that are grounded in research, you will be fine. I repeat. You will be fine.

Instead of worrying that someone on a forum chat named FunkyLlamaKiller69 said that your logo “made me hurl, yo,” worry about how you’re going to pay off this new brand with an improved customer experience.

Besides, in a day or so, FunkyLlama will probably hurt himself whilst filming a Harlem Shake video for YouTube.

And then, you can feel free to add your own comments.

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