A re-brand rarely comes when a company is thriving. If Google, Facebook or Apple re-branded today there would be more than a few raised eyebrows.
A re-brand often occurs when a company needs to revitalise or force a change in direction to once again steal a lead on the competition.
That’s why re-branding comes at more of a cost than just agency fees, consultants and re-tooling for their shiny new look. The real cost is in the customers perception of a re-brand. A brand is more than just a nice looking logo, but it is inevitably the logo that should define the brand.
This is why the aesthetic appeal of a logo is so vital to a companies success. Ask anyone in marketing and they will tell you the best brands in the world are those that a clean, simple, unique and distinctive. The big 3 I mentioned at the start of this blog tick all of those boxes… but then so did GAP and pretty much so did MySpace, yet they have both recently decided to re-brand.
The reasons why we rebrand and what makes a good brand are clear, but should we ask MySpace and GAP if re-branding is the right thing to do? Well, let’s see if we think they’ve done a good job before we start thinking they’re experts in re-branding.
|Gap Old||Gap New|
|MySpace Old||MySpace New|
Let’s analyse the two.
GAP – Both old and new tick all the boxes in being simple, clean, unique and distinctive. However I have to question why GAP have re-branded their 20 year old logo at all. This updated brand stands for nothing new. As far as the design is concerned I have no problems and given time, it will no doubt become as recognisable as their old incarnation – but that hasn’t achieved anything.
As far as the brand is concerned GAP will only be at the same point they are now 10 years down the line.
So why have GAP re-branded? Well that’s not too difficult to answer. They seriously need to breath new life into its slumping sales. With their old brand image it would be difficult to imagine any new type of marketing campaign, any new style to their outlets and in turn any new custom. For me it looks like they have therefore decided to re-brand in the hope a new softer logo may present opportunities for a new marketing direction and a new customer perception.
The outcome – in short, GAP fans have been outraged! They have been posting on social sites and forums like mad accusing GAP of creating a logo more suited to a bank than a clothing retailer. I have to agree. The most surprising outcome of this though is how GAP have responded. They have said – “If you think you can do better, go ahead!” (not an exact quote!). They’ve done this by opening the floor to the public to create a new GAP brand. I’m really not sure if this is a desperate or ingenious move?
MySpace – I don’t think we can compare this situation with GAP’s. MySpace have so seriously fallen behind the behemoth that is Facebook that it needs something that is innovative, dynamic and even pioneering to turn around its fortunes. The other aspect that is for certain, is that MySpace will need to do more than just re-brand to make this happen. They need to pull together an experience for the user that in-compasses everything MySpace has to offer into a simplified and uniformed quality online offering.
That’s a big job – but I think this re-brand is a step in the right direction. I know this logo is going to be brutally treated with all sorts of photo-shopped shenanigans posted all over the web. But that is part of its appeal. It will devide opinion and create discussion after discussion on what in the world MySpace were thinking about but again, that’s part of its appeal.
MySpace are saying this is not our website, but yours. Fill in the blank. Make it what you want. With everything that MySpace is trying to offer – this is spot on.
I saw one fantastic comment on the TechCrunch blog about this saying “Only two more characters left and myspace will forever be deleted from the internet”. While this is a fantastic comment, I don’t think it could be further from the truth.
I like what MySpace are trying to represent with this new logo and most of all I like the fact this change is brave.
It hopefully signals a new era for MySpace – and at last competition again for Facebook.
Of course, this is only my opinion – so please take part in the poll below to share yours!