I'd planned today's word to be vicissitude, and even had a whole post scheduled about it. Mostly it centered on how much my mind has turned to soggy oatmeal these past two months. But that wasn't any fun! So instead I want to talk a little bit about being fresh versus sticking with your older formula. (And officially relegate the Wednesday Word to the Occasional Wednesday Word.)
Gap announced yesterday that they were scrapping the new logo they'd rolled out based on the general feeling of calamitous hatred it stirred in Gap "users."
Now, scrapping a logo is a HUGE decision, and one marketing teams don't take lightly. Logos are the embodiment of a company's values, position, and future -- and they matter greatly. Firms get paid lots and lots of money to come up with logos, and you can bet Gap paid a crapton of money for this new one. I can also tell you that these things aren't arbitrary: typically a logo undergoes user testing and general appeal studies before making it out to the public, especially for a widely recognized consumer company such as Gap.
When I saw the new logo, I was pretty much in agreement: it sucked. It lacked any of the authority and traditional, tried and true feeling of the old, and it didn't even use the same font. To me, the new logo could have been created by anyone, used for any company named Gap, and held no identity ties to the clothing company. Apparently, others felt the same way.
But Mr. Sierra took Gap's side: supposedly sales have been down and they wanted to move away from the old traditional look of the blue border. They wanted to be fresh and new, for a new generation. He was all for that.
I can understand that--although I do remain firmly convinced that messing with en established and well-recognized logo will confuse brand recognition and loyalty in consumers. Still, there's something to be said for trying something different, letting go of previous conceptions, and looking forward.
Today I was having a discussion with Roni Loren about a particular tried and true "rule" in romantic fiction (I'll be blogging about it on Monday!). We agreed that rules are meant to be bent and everything depends on the book, the story, the characters, and the genre....but even so, I returned again and again to the rule and thought it through and really felt that it was a strong, good rule (Monday, I promise).
So tell me: do you knowingly break rules in writing to expand freshness and reinvigorate your stories? Does it work, or does it go the way of the new Gap logo? Do you try breaking rules often?