Here’s an incident I wish the research psychologists would explain: the massive outrage over the new Gap logo, which forced the company to revert to its old, reversed white-on-blue look.
Who has time to care about the logo for the Gap or any other company?
Now, I understand the design and advertising world having an opinion, but it was ordinary consumers who fuelled the outpouring of rage, particularly in the Twitterverse.
Why? Even if you’re a devoted Gap shopper, a logo has no impact on you or the quality of the garments, so why bother airing an opinion? Or even having one.
Edelman PR has done a disturbing study that might have an answer of sorts. 8095, a study of millennials born between 1980 and 1995, suggests that the under-30s view brand affiliation as a personal identifier akin to religion and ethnicity. Apparently trying and reviewing brands online is a "core value."
Unfortunately it doesn't answer the real question, which is how could they possibly consider shopping a core value? If you scratch the surface of most inexplicable human behaviour, you find that it’s comforting in some way. That’s why people believe in psychics, reiki, and all sorts of magical thinking: it gives them an illusion of control, which they find reassuring.
So maybe shopping and exercising influence on brands makes'em feel like they have control in a chaotic world?
I wonder if they've heard the term Fool's Paradise?