Bye-bye gumtree, hello mulberry bush?
20 Apr 2017
In March this year we reported (here) on the revamped website of Gumtree South Africa, featuring a new, modern look, new features and two new income streams – listing fees in the categories jobs and services. (Users listing more than two ads in any of these categories, have to pay a small fee.)
From today, Gumtree South Africa also has a new logo.
The logo switch might well be called “radical” by some. The new logo is not a rework of the existing logo, but a complete step away from the old. The mother site, Gumtree U.K., treated itself to a similar, new logo (in similar fashion, ie. from one day to the next) about a year ago.
In the U.K., the new logo wasn’t liked by all. Some users felt the Gumtree of the old logo was replaced by “just any old tree” in the new logo. Here you can study the process Koto Creative, the London-based design studio, went through to get to the new logo. If you scroll down to the comments, you’ll see that Gumtree’s “radical” switch wasn’t risk-free.
Anton Rupert, the uncrowned king of marketing in South Africa for many decades until his death in 2006, preferred the staged revamp of a well-recalled logo, to arrive at the new logo only after a few months (maybe even years), and so prevent consumer confusion, and even rejection.
Along the way, he would have confronted the consumer with a number of slightly changed logos, in a process which culminated in the final, new logo after a period. Along the way he would have measured market reaction, to avoid getting to a point he’d rather not be, but from where there is no return.
Maybe, all of this is unnecessary in the digital era, in which change is the norm? Maybe, user experience is what it’s about on the web. And not so much product image?
In any event, Gumtree SA would not have followed in Gumtree U.K.’s footsteps, if the switch in early 2016 was less than successful.
This is what Gumtree SA had to say: “Our logo hasn’t changed since 2005, even though the site underwent multiple revamps in recent years. The new logo is similar to that of Gumtree U.K., except for a unique color palette, which was inspired by the South African landscape.”
Read the “message” of Johan Nel, GM of Gumtree SA, on the site blog (here), for the complete motivation behind the move.
In Australia, Gumtree continues happily with the old logo (here).
Something else: Gumtree SA also introduced a new, two-step listing process today, which makes the listing process even quicker.