A few weeks ago the premiership saw Sir Alex Ferguson step down from his role as manager of Manchester United. His 26 successful years at Old Trafford paved the way for the long serving manager of Everton F.C David Moyes to take over. This was a step in a new direction for both teams as Moyes himself called time on his 11 years managerial accomplishment at Goodison Park.

So in the spirit of new beginnings Everton F.C decided to rebrand their 75-year-old badge (see below). Within hours the new design had amassed criticisms from all corners of the globe from both Evertonians and football fans in general. Twitter users went one step further and started to compare the new logo to many similar looking items in pop culture (The Tin man’s hat and the Thunderbirds mole to name a few) One of the things fans were most displeased about was their club motto being omitted from the final design. ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ (nothing but the best is good enough) a saying most fans (and the players have tried to) have lived by all these years. It has recently emerged that although it is too late to reverse the logos printed on the kits for next season Everton football club will be scrapping this new logo thanks to the uproar from fans. Possibly a surprising decision since they had claimed to have consulted with various fan bases, commercial partners and experienced staff prior to releasing their new emblem, but perhaps the consultation didn’t go quite a deep as originally claimed.

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However was it the right decision for them to cave into the pressure from fans so easily? Should they have had a tougher approach? When is it right to stand your ground and disagree with the general opinion? I personally see nothing wrong with the new logo. I feel that it has moved into a more modern category of logos alongside other contemporary football emblems within the Premiership. With a few additions and tweaks it can look strong.

In all honesty when it comes to football the logo is not be the biggest deciding factor for a new supporter. Lifelong fans WILL still continue to support their team regardless of their club crest. Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea are amongst the few clubs who have stood by their decision to change their club badge regardless of how bold and streamlined their new emblem looked in comparison to other teams at the time.

In the grand scale of things it would have been a very short battle with the cynics and within months this disagreement would have been buried in the past. Instead the decision to u-turn so quickly amidst the criticisms may have made Everton look weak overall.  The alternative more stubborn approach may have actually had a positive impact on Everton F.C’s character. If playing great football is what Everton F.C is all about then they should continue to do that and perhaps leave the design matters to the design department. Nobody judges a team based on their club crest. Some of the best teams in the world have the worst logos.

This however is not the case for every business. No one has forgotten the GAP logo failure in 2010. There are many examples in business where a company has faced backlash from its customers over something they didn’t agree on. Of course with different business sectors it’s a different story. For example it is a very easy decision for the consumer to switch to a competitor brand when it comes to hair care products or clothing brands than it is for a lifelong supporter of a club to change sides midway through a season.

Of course the customer’s opinions must be taken on board as well. Constructive feedback is the only way to improve your service. Disagreeing with them too often leads to alienating them and this usually ends in bad publicity. One business facing immense pressure from the media is Abercrombie & Fitch. Their company value of catering only to the slim and beautiful has led them to be criticised by a large group of protestors after an interview given in 2006 by CEO Mike Jeffries resurfaced on the internet. In the interview Jeffries commented that…

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids, candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

While this is both condescending and offensive to the all the “non-beautiful” shoppers out there, Abercrombie & Fitch have decided not to change their stance on this matter. Needless to say their first quarter sales fell by 17%.

Hakim Shujaee is a Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk