It came out last week that members of the Gold Coast City Council are thinking the Red Dot of the city re-brand may not have been a good idea. This follows a wave of negative responses to the brand from the community and council members alike.
Veteran Councillor Daphne McDonald claimed the logo just isn’t “out there”, calling for it to be changed or tweaked. “I’ve found 80 to 90 per cent of people have said that the logo is a nothing,” she said.
On the day of its launch, the Bulletin website was awash with people slamming the meaningless design and the price tag such a simple concept could fetch.
Many locals were bothered that the poor design came from Brisbane when there were a number of local branding agencies that could have come up with something more relevant to the area.
Born and bred Gold Coaster Susannah Strauss believes the council should have engaged with the community more to create something people could identify with.
“I think it would have been worthwhile to give us a choice and gauge the reaction before making a decision. It’s so important that businesses, councils, agencies understand what is being said and work towards addressing issues,” she said.
Ms Strauss manages Dialogix, a service that monitors online conversations about brands, issues and events to help businesses better understand how their company or relevant issues are perceived by the public.
“Back in February, the public were Tweeting and posting to Facebook in droves about the ridiculousness of the new campaign. I was one of them. It’s so important that businesses, councils and agencies understand what is being said and work towards addressing issues.”
In spite of all the negative publicity from the outset, it’s only after more than half a million dollars have been spent on the logo’s implementation that we are hearing that even some councillors were unhappy with the design as well.
“The council office should have been monitoring before the new logo rolled out, this way they would have known their baseline of conversations and would have had a better understanding of the impact the new logo created,” Ms Strauss said.
The city of Melbourne recently re-branded itself with a successful new design that has been adopted as part of the city’s growing identity. One of the keys to this success was research into how Melbourne locals saw themselves and their city.
The Red Dot branding launch booklet questions the Gold Coast identity as “beach-side style or Brisbane’s backwater”, a description seen as offensive to many locals who most certainly don’t see themselves as a backwater to anyone.
“Social media monitoring would have shown the buzz the launch created and also the sentiment of those talking about the Red Dot campaign,” Ms Strauss said.
“It’s so important to understand the conversations happening about you whether they are positive, negative or neutral. This way you can really gauge opinion and navigate your way to a successful outcome.”
Perhaps if the Gold Coast City Council paid attention to the public’s negative reaction to the Red Dot launch they could have saved some face and a good deal of rate payer’s money.
It’s an expensive example of how important it is for any company or office to be aware of how their brand is perceived.