Redesigning a familiar logo is risky business–as Gap recently discovered.
But the digital hate campaign on Facebook and Twitter wasn’t just a bunch of outraged consumers reacting to bad taste. Instead, neuroscientists believe it was our brain chemistry that rejected Gap’s new logo. (Read How Gap Returned to its Own Logo)
According to the neuromarketing company NeuroFocus, who conducted the study, neuroscientific research shows that the human brain craves and seeks what is new. After recording brain activity and using eye-tracking techniques on a group of volunteers who were shown both Gap logos, they found the new logo didn’t register as novel or stylish in the volunteer’s brains. The old logo, however, was a big hit with consumers, scoring high in the company’s “stylish” metric. “When we saw this specific result from our testing, we were not surprised by the consumer backlash,” said NeuroFocus CEO A K Pradeep. “For a retail apparel marketer seeking to reach and motivate their audience, this loss of brand value in the ‘stylish’ category marks a major cause for concern.” (See TIME’s Five Paths to Understanding the Brain)
With our brains hard-wired to avoid sharp edges, people reacted negatively to the blue cube cutting into the round curve of the letter “p” in the new logo. Another disastrous choice on Gap’s part was the font. Not only was Helvetica not remarkable, but it wasn’t different enough to what we’re used to seeing on a day-to-day basis, making it easy to miss–a major blunder for a fashion retailer attempting to make a lasting impression in our minds. (Via The New Scientist)