The power of social media continues to be questioned from small- to mid-sized businesses (SMB) to large global corporations. A recent example for those still contemplating the power of social media comes from The Gap.
In October, Gap introduced its new logo to the world via its Facebook Fan Page, likely trying to create buzz for the rebranding by leveraging social media as the news engine. Unfortunately, the response was not what they hoped for. Why were Facebook fans so upset by a logo change?
What went wrong?
Consumers have developed a stronger sense of loyalty and affiliations with companies via social media. No longer do consumers simply go to a store and buy something. When consumers begin connecting with brands on a personal level, their loyalty grows and in turn, they expect that company to reciprocate that loyalty. Gap changing their logo without engaging loyal customers first was the downfall in the end.
According to Emily Fredrix from the Associated Press, Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement late Monday that the San Francisco-based company realized how much people liked the old logo after they put up the new one, a white background with black letters and a little blue box. She also says Gap didn't handle the change correctly and missed a chance to have shoppers offer input.
The Gap logo is classic and the company’s more than 700,000 fans were quick to tell Gap they didn’t want a change. Getting the opinion of its most loyal customers first would have likely saved the company a nice chunk of change when considering the cost of creating a new logo.
What Gap did right.
Gap reverted back to the old logo quickly. They immediately addressed the concerns of its fans, even asking for their input on how the logo could be better. While it seems like Gap is still interested in changing the logo a bit, they are certainly more aware that its customers need to be involved in the process. It may even help the brand as consumers see that Gap is a company that listens to its customers.
Social media lesson learned: your strongest brand advocates WANT to be involved. Bringing them in and asking them for their opinion in the beginning could save your company a lot of money and headaches.
— Deana Goodrich