So, Snapdeal got itself a new logo. It took me a bit to figure out that it’s a (delivery) box. Actually, the press release had to demystify it for me.
Aesthetically speaking (purely my personal opinion), the new logo makes the brand look more like a technology brand (with those sharp edges and a geometric shape) than an endearing consumer brand.
What caught my imagination is this news around the brand planning to invest 200 crores in rebranding. For me, this brought back memories of the ‘infamous’ re-branding initiative by Housing.com. At least, in case of Housing, an anonymous brand suddenly painting the town got the brand a few eyeballs. I am sure the awareness scores went up (Was it the right way to do it or did it benefit the brand is a different question all together).
Coming back to Snapdeal, I don’t think awareness is such a problem for this brand. The brand has been around for some time now (since 2010) and they have also spent some serious marketing bucks (you might remember the ‘Dil Ki Deal’ campaign with Aamir). Yes, trials might be an issue and brand reappraisal by lapsers can be another one.
So, a big campaign telling that we have now changed our logo (to a red box) is enough to drive these business objectives? Why should the consumer care? Yes, like most brands even Snapdeal wants to play the emotional card (‘dil ki deal’ now ‘unbox zindagi’) but have you given your consumer a strong functional benefit – that gives them a hook to believe in (and even propagate) your emotional pitch.
Unfortunately, ecommerce advertising today is all about who can outshout who. The discussion is not on the messaging, but on the hundreds of crores that these brands are spending. The messaging is either a checklist of category benefits (COD, easy returns, wide collection, discounts and more discounts – read festive sales/ big billion day sale, etc) or an emotional uproar without a solid reason to believe (Dil ki deal, Har wish hogi poori).
As a marketer, when I see these campaigns, there’s only one consistent take away for me- i.e. these brands have lot of money to waste.
What is even more disheartening is that though Flipkart and Snapdeal are the evangelists that got Indian consumers online, with its clever advertising Amazon is fast taking up that space of India’s favourite online destination (their latest campaign refers to Amazon as ‘Apni Dukaan’).
What they have done successfully is to mine deep-rooted insights about Indian consumer and play back a narrative that appeals at both functional and emotional level (‘Aur Dikhao’). Of course, the customer centricity of Amazon not only ends at communication, it spans across each touch point- the interface, ease of navigation, check out, customer service, almost everything. Here I am talking from a perspective of being an avid online consumer. I was a massive cheerleader for Flipkart, but by the sheer seamlessness of Amazon’s service (including Kindle, which is one of the best recommendation engines I have experienced) I became a convert to Amazon.
I am completely aware that this space is getting fiercely competitive and amidst this raging war between Amazon and Flipkart, Snapdeal needs attention too. But was rebranding the only solution. What was wrong with the old logo? It was neat and clean with a good recall of brand colors (red and blue). Why fix something that’s not broken? (By the way, the shade of red in the new Snapdeal logo is called Vermello. Fancy!)
A logo is not a piece of art with subjective interpretations. It doesn’t attain meaning because you get fancy copy guys to write some gyan about new India and new Indian consumer on your site. A logo attains a meaning when brands consistently deliver on their values and promises. Nike, Starbucks, Apple are not great brands because they have great logos. They are great brands because they consistently deliver on what they promise and that’s why their logos today are recognizable across the globe and consumers assign same meaning to a swoosh or golden arches (McDonalds) no matter which part of the world they are from.
You might be wondering, why I am being so judgmental. I haven’t even seen the entire roll out yet. May be I am. As a brand marketer who has always worked within constraints of budget, I feel jealous of the marketing budgets some of these ecommerce brands seem to have. At the same time I also feel angry and frustrated at their naivety in just blowing the money away.
They say that a new logo is often an announcement of ‘beginning of change’ and I hope Snapdeal has lot of good things in store for us this festive season. I will closely watch this space and I will be happy to be proven wrong.
Gurudev Prasad, Guest Editor- Indiaspark
Gurudev is co-founder of BusyBeeBrands, a boutique brand-building outfit that helps brands tell their ‘stories’ in a way that make them memorable and differentiate them as desirable.