Social Media is Here to Stay (Just Ask the GAP!)

October 12, 2010

Gap’s logo returns to blue after fans gripe about new logo online

Yup, that’s the headline I just read.

A new logo is a gamble. It can brighten up a company’s image — or enrage loyal customers.

The Gap learned that lesson the hard way, after debuting a new logo last week that immediately touched off a customer backlash.

Since the logo’s debut on Monday, Gap customers have been storming social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to tell friends — and the company — just how they feel about the new logo.

“This is the worst idea Gap has ever had. I will be sad to see this change take place,” a Facebook user wrote on Gap’s Facebook page. “If this logo is brought into the clothing [store] I will no long[er] be shopping with the Gap. Really a bummer because 90% of my clothing has been purchased there in the last 15+ years.”

The online spoke an spoke loudly. With over 700,000 fans on it’s Facebook Page the comments poured in – if you read this blog you know that I believe Social media has changed the way all brands must operate – not just the small ones. And The Gap listened. This is the important part, this is truly the place where social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have completely changed how we can do business – they listened.

Your friends and followers are you marketplace – ask them what they think and when they answer, LISTEN!

If you establish a trusting 2 way relationship on sites like Twitter and Facebook with your customers and clients (or even potential ones) you, for all intents and purposes, have built yourself a focus group. Ask them what they want and provide it. There is less and less of a need to guess what your market wants – simply ask them.But – and this is a BIG BUT – listen to what they say. And by all means, if you screw up, apologize. Here’s the GAP’s:

The Official GAP logo flap press release

“Since we rolled out an updated version of our logo last week on our website, we’ve seen an outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.

“Last week, we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion. Ultimately, we’ve learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we’ve made the decision not to use the new logo on any further.

“At Gap brand, our customers have always come first. We’ve been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back. So we’ve made the decision to do just that – we will bring it back across all channels.

“In the meantime, the website will go back to our iconic blue box logo and, for Holiday, we’ll turn our blue box red for our seasonal campaign.

“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community.  This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.

“There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way. “

I’ll bet they will.

Can you offer up any other times when Social Media spoke loudly enough that big brands changed their minds?

Please comment and share below.

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