A lot has been written about Iconic US clothing brand Gap and its speedy decision to abandon its new brand mark in favour of its comfy old blue box. The back flip came so fast that the celebratory launch champagne had barely stopped fizzing. But then US consumers hadn’t just spoken, they had screamed disapproval.
This is a timely reminder that,in 2010, the marketing landscape has changed. Whilst your company may own the brand in the modern world of online, e-mail and social media the customer has power over their relationship with brands in a way they never had before. The customer is no longer a passive target for brand message and identity, they have expectations and needs.
The ‘Gap fiasco’ of the past week should serve as a timely reminder to all brand owners of this fact. In truth, in the 21st century it’s easy to tune your business ears to what the customer is saying- there is plenty of chat going on and consumers feel more empowered, and motivated, than ever before to voice opinions. But there will still be companies (perhaps your competitors) who have failed to grasp the new paradigm. They are still trying to bully the customer into their way of thinking. They are avoiding opening up channels of dialogue with customers for fear of what they might hear.
So if you want to get ahead of the pack, listen. And when you’ve listened, act. Gap may have made mistakes introducing the new brand mark, but they got this bit right.
At Truly Deeply we’ve devoted ourselves to aligning our clients brand with their client needs across brand strategy, brand identity, brand design and creative implementation. If you’d like to have a chat with us, give us a call, we’re really good listeners.
Malcolm Harvey -passionate about listening, learning and application.