We were recently asked to update the Providence Journal’s brand identity. It is an amazing assignment and we were proud to be entrusted with this venerable, important brand. But when taking on such a visible redesign task, we are also sensitive to some of the recent prominent logo and packaging redesigns that went horribly, publicly wrong. The Gap and Tropicana come to mind. Both made bold changes to their looks and both were absolutely eviscerated by the blogoshpere—to the point where the mainstream media picked up the stories and they ended up retreating back to their original designs.
And now NBC’s new overlords seems to be potentially walking into the same mine field as they have out-of-the-blue declared that they will be dropping the peacock from the NBC logo. Only time will tell whether there is an outcry that goes viral enough to cause trouble for them.
Starbucks, long known as being savvy marketers, are altering their iconic logo but have taken some steps to preempt a groundswell. First, they’ve been open and transparent about their plans. They are not just going to spring a new logo on their devoted fans. They’ve devoted a chunk of their web site to explaining the reasoning and strategy for their new logo. It includes this video from Howard Schultz.
While there has already been some of the inevitable web snarkiness about the change, I suspect this approach (and the fact that their new logo is a tasteful evolution) will prevent the mob from turning on them.
It’s the kind of approach we recommended to our clients when they launch a new look. But should our preemptive efforts fail to prevent a lynch mob, we’d appreciate it if you don’t join them…