Yesterday’s Fortune offers a set of amusing anecdotes on branding efforts gone wrong, I have no inside knowledge of what happened at Airbnb, Tropicana, Gap, or other companies mentioned in the piece, but all of them suggest an essential factor in the creative process – the political dynamic. It defines reason that no one on the creative team or on the review team missed the obvious reasons why these branding efforts were bad ideas.
Take the case of Airbnb. At some point, somehow, someone must have noticed the new logo looked like private parts and would become a target of endless mockery for that reason. Here’s my read on what happened, after sitting in on countless similar meetings. Either those people were silenced, in advance, because they felt that speaking up would be penalized, or they spoke up and were silenced because they were out-maneuvered or out-ranked in the process.
It’s all too common that bad dynamics overtake common sense and good process. And marketing history is littered with the end results.