Since we live in a world where everyone and every thing is under the microscope thanks to social media, I had said that it might make some brands wary of some new initiatives and look for elements that may offend some group or the other. That does not mean that brands which hitherto took a stance or made a comment on societal trends or some values will suddenly stop doing so. In any case, my view is that brands can still make engaging, relevant, clutter-breaking communication while focusing on the product without mandatorily anchoring it on ‘sensitive’ topics (such as religion or politics). Not all brands have the stomach or the need to withstand the spotlight and likely flak if the communication or new marketing initiative gets spoken in negative light in social media.
That’s exactly why I thought Myntra did the right thing by addressing a consumer concern which got media attention. I had said, ‘on hindsight, Myntra did a commendable job of retaining the brand identity as is and addressing a consumer concern which could have gained even more undue attention if left unaddressed’.
However, the debate over the recent logo change by Myntra continues on LinkedIn. Here’s a post I came across:
In a world where brands often choose to remain silent when it comes to social and political issues, I applaud #Myntra for paying heed to a commoner and making a tangible change. It may be a small, rather dispensable action for many here, but it has made the brand a testament for change within our society. Now, more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support. And it is imperative that we as consumers and citizens bring to notice things that are inappropriate for a certain class, gender or race. Because there is a hope for change.Source
Among the many comments was this:
Really? This is a social or political issue? Wake up and smell the tear gas! And as for your comment about Myntra taking a stand, what they have done is the opposite of taking a stand.Source
I did not see the action from Myntra as being taking a stand but simply being practical as ignoring the complaint would have made consumers & media continue to focus on the basis of the complaint. There is no telling what the consumer perceives in a logo or the subliminal messaging in an ad. It is like how we see cloud formations differently – I might see a roaring lion and someone else might see a flying horse in the same formation. In 2019, Gucci faced backlash when they released a balaclava-style sweater which some claimed resembled a blackface. The brand had to issue an apology on social media:
In consumer focus groups where creative elements (TV scripts, tag lines, logos) are researched all the potential problems or negative perceptions are not apparent. Some have called to question the mindset of consumers who saw a problem with the Myntra logo. But going down that path is futile. The likely negative impact of it and the benefit of a corrective action must be weighed upon. In making that subtle change and yet not drastically changing the logo the brands has maintained continuity and familiarity. I guess there is a vast swathe of their consumers who may not even be aware of such a controversy and would react the way they normally would when receiving their shipped packaging.
While a small group of media & marketing professionals debate the semiotics and dissect all aspects of the logo issue, a majority of consumers go about their everyday lives and just want things to work if and when they choose to shop online: find what they want, from a brand they like and complete the order fulfilment without a hassle. Anything else – such as making them see things in the logo is a distraction. Myntra focused on what was important but had to pay a price of course (undue attention for weeks, cost of logo change and printing). But that’s small change when they have deflected from an issue that adds no value to their business.