Home > Uncategorized > The Power of the Twitterverse

The Power of the Twitterverse

Evidence that customers own the brand… or at least the logo.

Last week, GAP Inc. released a new version of its logo on its website. The logo redesign lasted a mere four days, before company executives made the business decision to return to the tried-and-true blue box. The new logo, created by New York agency Laird & Partners, was meant to contemporize the brand and appeal to the retailer’s target Millennial consumer.

GAP fans were quick to respond to the logo change, starting Facebook groups and Twitter handles as a forum to share their discontent with fellow-minded consumers. While some of consumers’ anger stemmed from the sudden change, others voiced a changed perception of the GAP brand based on the simplicity – and juvenile – design.

When a fashion company such as GAP suddenly redesigns its logo, it risks alienating its loyal customer base. These brand loyalists may interpret the redesigned logo as altering the meaning and/or associations they have of the brand. While a brand’s logo is the most dominant feature of the brand’s aesthetic, there are numerous components beyond design elements that construct a brand identity in the mind of the consumer – many of these are experiential, based on a consumer’s personal relationship with the brand that’s developed over time.

In today’s digital world where consumers are increasingly involved – and engaged – with brands online, I question how GAP Inc. made it so far along in the logo redesign process without communicating to, or measuring the impact of, this change on consumers’ perceptions and feelings towards the brand. In the case of GAP’s logo redesign, the fashion company could have saved itself embarrassment by engaging its customers in dialog about its new direction before actually making the change public. In a way, it’s ironic that the communication channel that consumers used to make the new logo extinct could have been used to engage consumers and drive the company in a positive, new direction.

I’m left wondering whether GAP learned any valuable lessons from this fiasco. Perhaps in the future, the fashion retailer will ask its customers for their opinion before making drastic changes. My hunch is that if these customers care enough to voice their opinions loud-and-clear about a logo, they’ll want to be involved with the growth (and evolution) of the company into the future. Most marketers know that brand management is all about listening to your customers – because in essence, it’s your customers that own the brand! Right, GAP?

Categories: Uncategorized

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