Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How The Gap Logo Debacle Proves Consumer "Voice" Wins




If you've been following the news around The Gap's rebranding efforts, you know it has been quite a misfire. Why? Gap is a brand people know, love and trust. Yet just last week they decided to roll out a new logo. They never even once stopped to consider the ramifications. So intent on being "new" and "hip" they didn't remember that their customers might disagree with a change.

First mistake: Let's look at the psychology behind change. People resist change under normal times, they sure as heck don't need or want change now. We've had enough change thank you. We'd like to feel we can count on a few things in our lives to remain consistent.

Second mistake: They didn't even ask their loyal followers what they thought. When you get to be a brand as big as The Gap, you don't own that brand any longer. The universe of consumers do. They own you. So ASK.

Third mistake: did The Gap forget this world is now socially linked? Groundswells of emotion happen and once they get rolling, good or bad, they are rolling. People piled on to the conversation and because of mistake #1 and 2, they yelled bloody murder. Consumers have no control over their lives at this moment (or so they feel) and this was one thing they felt they could control. And did.

Was it the right thing to do for The Gap to pull the new logo so soon? Did caving under the pressure earn them respect or will they lose face? This remains to be seen.

I am of the mindset that The Gap should have stuck to its guns a bit longer.  It just feels icky to me that they threw their hands up in the air. The timing was off.

What do you think? How did you feel when you heard they switched back?

Moral of this story, your customers can own your brand and when that is the case, be very, very careful what you do with their "baby."


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