Myntra: Bouncing back from logo trouble

Guest Column: Ambi Parameswaran, Independent Brand Strategist, Best Selling Author & Founder, Brand-Building.com, discusses why it is important for brands to look at their logos with fresh eyes

e4m by Ambi Parameswaran
Updated: Feb 3, 2021 8:54 AM
Ambi Parameswaran

One of the most iconic symbols that featured an alphabet from the English language is probably the WelcomGroup symbol. The designer Subhas Tendle of Ulka used the letter ‘W’ but added a touch to make it look like a ‘namaste’. The logo continued unchanged for many decades before WelcomGroup made way to ITC Hotels & Resorts.

Using the first letter of a brand name as a symbol for the brand is something designers have resorted to for decades. The Tata ‘T’, the Thermax ‘T’, the Reliance ‘R’, the ICICI Bank ‘I’ and the list is endless.

It is no surprise that the online fashion brand Myntra used the letter ‘M’ as its symbol. In fact, the brands logotype used a multicolour rendition of the brand name, with overlapping elements. The logo that got into trouble is not new by any standards but it seemed to have escaped public scrutiny all this while. Instead of trying to defend their logo brand Myntra was quick to retreat.[ I did see a slightly altered symbol on social media but we will wait till the brand officially announces it]. I suppose it may even be as simple as adjusting the overlapping of the various limbs of the letter ‘M’.

What can be the lessons for us in marketing and advertising? And will more logos be called out? In a social media post, I saw someone pointing out to several symbols including that of the iconic brand Tesla. Myntra case is interesting since it is a fashion company that probably has more women employees than men. If so, how did this slip past all those filters? Or is it a sign of our times. That we are becoming extra sensitive to issues on both sides of the fence?

When you are faced with a rejection like Myntra, what should you do to bounce back stronger? The way Myntra handled the crisis could be a case study to be analyzed in the future.

That said, it is important for brands to look at their logos with fresh eyes. In the past we used to check the logo and symbol for their meaning and symbolism in all the key Indian languages. Now we need to put in place more filters and check points. And in doing so, we should not end up creating plain vanilla logos and symbols. In that light, I am doubly sure that the W symbol of WelcomGroup is an all-time-great.

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