Archive for the 'Social media' Category

Colour Me Crazy: a Study in Spotify

Spotify old v new


After the rather extreme reaction to Spotify’s colour change last month, it really drew attention to the significance brand colours can have on an audience.

In case you missed the furore, it came about when Spotify updated its signature colour from a so-called “broccoli” to a fresher, almost “mint” green. This colour change was all part of a larger on-going brand refresh, and was apparently a unanimous decision within the company, considered so uncontroversial in the Spotify camp that they didn’t even feel the need to mention the update formally.

But unfortunately for them, certain Spotify customers did not consider it a welcome change and reacted vocally online, causing something of a Twitter-storm, and I imagine some internal panic at Spotify.

Was it simply change itself that people reacted against, or was there a genuine antipathy towards the new Spotify green? For some it will be both. For what it’s worth, my feeling is that the gradient had to go. I can take or leave the new colour, but the gradient was tired and dated.

It is clear that people can feel a sense of ownership towards brands, particularly ones they have used regularly for many years. Sudden and unannounced change can be disorientating, especially on digital devices where colour can sometimes fluctuate (note that “is there something wrong with my screen?” was a fairly typical response). There is also something weirdly intrusive about brands making updates to our desktops and mobiles without our consent. When an app icon updates we lose some control over the aesthetic of our digital world, and it can be quite jarring in a way that updating printed materials just isn’t.

The cliché when talking about green and brand personality is to link it to ‘earthiness’, ‘nature’ and ‘health’, and while this is true to a certain extent, it doesn’t seem to apply in Spotify’s case. Colour preference is not universal, but is in fact dictated by a variety of factors, including but not limited to, gender, cultural differences and personal associations. So why then was there such a surprisingly strong attachment to the more ‘earthy’ tone of green? It could all be down to a case of familiarity rather than the colour itself. If Spotify had launched with this colour I doubt people would hold the same level of distaste they claim to feel for it now. Which leads us to our first lesson: Recognition is key. Researchers have found that our brains prefer recognizable brands, and that there is a “real connection between the use of colours and customers’ perceptions of a brand’s personality”, all of which makes changing your brand colour incredibly risky, especially when you’re already a well-established company.

Whatever the reason for the distaste, it clearly came as a surprise to many just how much people cared. In the age before social media (if you can remember such a time), brands would never have received this level of immediate feedback directly from their customers. Other than a few reviews in design journals (barring true catastrophes), the critique of a rebrand would’ve remained under the purview of graphic designers and marketers. Now people have the opportunity to give instant (somewhat hyperbolic) feedback directly to the brand. It is also worth noting that people who liked the change, or were at least ambivalent to it, felt less of a need to post anything at all, and so the online reaction was unfairly skewed towards the negative.

Whilst I myself was initially reticent to the new shade, I have since found that I’ve become used to it and I’m sure it will soon replace any previous colour associations in my mind, although troublingly it has only automatically updated on my desktop and not my (Android) mobile. As a mainly digital application, Spotify have the luxury of being able to make piece-meal updates with relatively little expense, but just because they can, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Part of people’s horror at the change was down to the lack of consistency. Lesson number two: if you’re going to enact a brand refresh, make it universal.

Spotify icon Victoria Addo-Ashong












However, despite all of the above, it must be said that ‘Brand’ is so much more than colour and aesthetic appearance. As long as people genuinely like the service they receive from Spotify, I doubt they will lose much custom if other areas of their brand are on-point. If someone is willing to delete the service over this it’s worth betting that they weren’t a satisfied customer to begin with. Still, brand recognition is a difficult thing to build, and examples such as these just go to show how quickly it can be lost. Spotify have been having a tough time in the media lately, and could really do without the additional controversy. It will be interesting to see how the rest of their brand-refresh plays out, and whether users will be quite so vocal in their reaction to it.







Our Work: #SheBelongs Match Day Programme Advert

WiF shebelongs



#SheBelongs Match Day Programme Advert and social media


Women in Football


To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, our client ‘Women in Football’ (WiF) wished to highlight all of the brilliant work carried out by women working within the football industry. We worked with them to create an inspiring match-day programme advert which champions female talent and highlights the often overlooked contributions women regularly make to the sport.

Our advert was designed for each club to personalise with their own image and a message to highlight the skill and dedication of their female employees. Fans were encouraged to engage with the campaign by tweeting examples of the women in football in their lives using the hashtag #SheBelongs.

Aiming to build on the momentum of this campaign, our follow-up advert ran over the Easter Weekend and featured three of the most high-profile women working in professional football today. Gabby Logan (sports journalist), Eniola Aluko (Chelsea FC and England footballer) and Sian Massey (football referee) represent the broad range of careers that can be pursued within football, and each of these women have broken down barriers in the sport in order to achieve their goals.

By teaming up with ‘Everyday Sexism’, the campaign also aims to promote the various ways in which women can report incidents of sexist abuse. These incidents, which so often go unreported, draw attention to the abuse many women face in the world of football and beyond. We hope this campaign, along with the tireless work done by members of the WiF team, can help contribute to creating a lasting change within the game.

For more information on ‘Women in Football’ please visit their website or follow them on Twitter (@WomeninFootball). You can also get involved in the campaign by tweeting using the hashtag #SheBelongs to champion the women you know in football.


WiF shebelongs2


Ten reasons why you should have a blog on your website

ewell castle responsive17

Adding a Blog (a weblog) to your website is easy, and can help you to build presence, market position and profile for your company. Here are just ten reasons why you should have at least one Blog on your site.


1. Blogs are easy to update.

You can allow a number of people to have access (specialists in particular fields maybe?) and they can all contribute to your website shop window. Make sure you put some rules in place though!

2. Blogs contain the most up to date things about your organisation.

The pieces can be long (not too long) or short, or contain photos, or just be a photo caption, or a video. A good blog is the sum of what makes you what you are.

3. Blogs make it easier for your site to be found.

Search engines like sites that are updated regularly, and blogs provide a regular in-depth focus on your core skills and experience.

4. Never think you don’t have something to write about – you do.

You can comment on best practice in your industry, use it to lobby for change, alert people to your specialists and how they add value, focus on your market expertise and much more.

5. With a blog on your site, you have the opportunity to react to news, but you can also make it.

Announce new products and services, key client wins, special assignments, things of particular interest.

6. Blogs are a complement to social media.

Make your brief announcements on social and use them to point to the full story on your blog. Reply to those with an interest in a topic and use the link to your blog to make your full proposition.

7. Blogs attract comment.

Starting a dialogue with potential buyers or opinion leaders helps you position your company and what it does. It is the starting point for sales.

8. Use your blog to be a little bit controversial if you feel you can.

You may need to hire a writer or a PR if you feel uncertain about this, but if you can be interesting and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll start to build traffic as a respected commentator.

9. Maybe you’ll need more than one.

If you have several areas of expertise, set up a blog for each and make your case as a specialist in each area.

10. Use your blog to get feedback from the market.

Use it to research attitudes and play back how you plan to respond. The market loves those who listen to what it thinks.

And of course, if you would like to get some help from us – on content, appearance or how the blog links in with your current site, then please do get in touch with us at


Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content

Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content