Mind The Brand Gap

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.

3 Comments

  1. A very interesting blog Mal – Gap certainly did get the rebrand wrong but what a turnaround! I wonder how much this turnaround has cost Gap in terms of agency fees, event launches etc? Fair to say a whole heap less compared to if they didn’t perform the turnaround and risk losing all those loyal customers.

  2. I’m not so sure they should have u-turned. Admittedly, the new logo isn’t good, but once you’ve decided to change it, you should stick to it. People ALWAYS hate new logos, they hate change. After a while the fuss would have died down and people would have got used to it. What I think is dangerous is that companies start to be scared of making decisions. It’s hard enough getting a logo through endless meetings, and if you’re really unlucky, focus groups. More and more power is being taken away from the people who actually have training and expertise in this and handed to those who have Word and a bit of clipart. What next? Do we have to put every idea for a new logo up on Twitter and let the Twits decide?

  3. […] There are lots of stories available on how consumers have been able to influence the actions of brands – how consumers have been able to harness ‘digital outrage’ at what particular brands or organisations have done by way of poor service, pricing/fees or product changes and sourcing. And we are not just talking about small brands, we are talking about back-flips from the likes of Coca-Cola, BlackBerry, FedEx and Bank of America. […]

Post a comment