Over the last few months, we’ve seen two notable backlashes concerning logo rebranding and the huge uproar by the seemingly ardent fans via social media. The latest fiasco surrounds the rebranding of the popular coffee brand Starbucks, to move with the times.
Should companies really take into consideration all the comments and rants that are hurled at it? Or should they just press on, knowing that resistance to change is always prevalent at any layer of society?
Some irate customers who felt passionate about the Starbucks brand even threatened to cancel their gold card privileges and stop buying their products – and all because of a new logo? More often than not, it takes a bit of time for changes to permeate through the layers and finally be deemed as acceptable. Also, another observation with regards to social media is that humans are quick to use it as a means to vent negativity, but seldom will they use it to add feathers to any caps.
My personal take is to take this conflict as an opportunity to continue impressing customers with the product and unveil new plans that surround the logo. Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz states, “Starbucks will continue to offer the highest-quality coffee, but we will offer other products as well”. Then, do it and do it well, Howard! I am sure your fans will eventually be subdued and will continue to consume your coffee and buy your new range of products.
How about the much talked about Gap logo that was quickly retracted? The lash-back was cutting and spread like wildfire over the Internet and soon after, Gap announced that it would revert to the original logo. Should they have persevered, and ignored the initial fluff from consumers online?
I feel companies wanting to undertake a rebranding exercise, whether for logos, websites or products, should consult with brand experts, show the end-results to a focus group made up of people from various walks of life, refine what is necessary, then hold their heads up high and launch. As I mentioned, there will definitely be at least two-sides to every change and we should not scurry about worrying unnecessarily to please everybody, and end up pleasing nobody. The use of the social media medium just makes voices seem louder, than they would have been otherwise.
Live long and prosper, Starbucks – you have created a space for work to be done at for many, many people across many, many nations.