Flap at the Gap
Here’s what’s really interesting:
1. That people really care about the logo. Customers feel their own relationship to certain brands as they never did before. A change in logo – a common occurrence that would have provoked little comment outside the marketing world once upon a time – now causes widespread feelings of, what… betrayal? Abandonment?
2. That the company cares enough to go into a dialog with customers about it, and is even entertaining alternatives.
“We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs,” the company said on its Facebook page late Wednesday. “We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”
Naturally, some people are noting that the Gap is soliciting free design work, but you’re bound to hear negative comments with any crowdsourcing effort. The fact is, the company can afford all the designers it needs. This is an attempt to make a connection with customers.
The old model – producing stuff and shoving it at customers – is giving way to a new one, in which companies are working in partnership with customers to create the way customers experience the brand.
UPDATE: Gap has decided to scrap the new logo and go back to their old one. Good for them, understanding the power of customer voice.
An abrupt reversal in the face of consumer antipathy might remind one of New Coke. But New Coke was a clear financial disaster. The Gap is reacting to an expression of opinion about their logo – what would clearly have been an internal matter at one time. Which means that, along with selling t-shirts, the Gap wants it known that they listen to their customers. This is a development worth following.
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