The UK newspaper People closed their website a little while ago. Launched with the idea that it would be ‘Buzzfeed for grown ups’, pretty much everything went wrong, according to this excellent reporting from of all places, Buzzfeed. Patrick Smith reports that there was a lack of identity, a lack of focus, and a complete failure to grasp how the native advertising business model works.
This lack of brand benefit is perfectly expressed in the website logo. The way it worked (or rather, didn’t), was that the People logo was preceeded by a rotating series of words; ‘Sporty’, ‘Famous’, ‘Glam’, ‘Funny’ and so on. The story underneath didn’t change, but the context did.
What this did was remove any trace of brand from the content beneath. The stories became entirely generic, no tone, no point of view, no recall.
Print has similar issues, but the context is very different. On a newsstand, when is right to put a coverline above the logo, and when should you never do it? Find out more after the jump.