It is easy to take relationships for granted. This is in business or life, when something becomes so familiar it can fall into the back ground and its value becomes easy to forget. Last year Tropicana launched an entirely new brand look and had the customers up in arms about the new design*. Within months they switched it back. Earlier this year, GM launched what (in my opinion) was a well conceived marketing stunt to kill the “Chevy” brand in an effort to remind people of all the positive associations that brand had with American culture. Again, soon after GM retracted that effort.
The latest in this growing trend is the GAP – who recently changed their logo and then backtracked to now announce that they will “engage in the dialogue, take their [customers] feedback on board and work together as we move ahead and evolve to the next phase of Gap.” Why are all these companies forgetting about the equity that their brands have built up in the minds of the consumer? More importantly, is it even an accident – or are they using it as a stunt to simply remind people of how much they really liked the old brand in the first place?
It can be difficult to tell, but from a PR point of view you could certainly get worse coverage than having all the mainstream media report on how much people loved your brand and didn’t want it to change. Any PR team would take that story over other types of negative coverage any day. So will we see more brands conveniently “forget” about their brand equity in order to get their current customers to start caring more about the brand for a day or two? Or am I being too optimistic about the intelligence and foresight of these brand managers and giving them too much credit for thinking through what may just be a lack of good judgement and poor marketing strategy?
Let’s find out. Answer this poll and let me know what you think:
*Disclaimer – I have worked on the Tropicana brand in the past and was working on it around the time of this new logo announcement, however I had no involvement in this part of the business.