Gap may have made an expensive mistake in attempting to update its logo, but the company hopes this won't cost it any customers. Demonstrating a keen understanding of the value of Facebook in assessing consumers' perceptions of a brand, the retailer recently decided to trash its new logo design after frustrated fans voiced their concerns.
After the company announced its new logo, thousands of Facebook fans gave their input on the social site, most of it negative. One disgruntled Gap-lover wrote, "there is nothing better than the original, so keep it GAP officials!" In fact, several fans requested a return to the former logo. Another consumer compared the new logo to a PowerPoint text box, others said it looked "cheap" and one simply commented, "the new logo SUCKS."
In response, Gap officials commented on the company's Facebook wall about the "passionate debates" unfolding. The company confronted the negative buzz, inviting consumers to share their ideas (and, notably, a few fans did upload links to their own Gap logo designs).
Marka Hansen, the president of Gap, wrote an article in the Huffington Post about how the company planned to handle the logo riot. "We've decided to engage in the dialogue, take their feedback on board and work together as we move ahead and evolve to the next phase of Gap," she wrote. She pointed readers to the company's Facebook page to learn more and share their own opinions.
Gap posted a comment last night affirming fans' feedback. "Ok, we've heard loud and clear that you don't like the new logo," the company said. Officials included a link to a press release announcing that the company is returning to the classic logo. The post garnered more than 1,700 "likes" and a bevy of positive comments. For example, one satisfied fan wrote, "Love the blue box. Thank you for listening to your loyal customers."
The retailer offers a lesson in effectively engaging consumers via social media. Gap turned a sticky situation into an opportunity to engage Facebook fans and show them they have a voice in brand development. Dialog that incorporates both negative and positive feedback is critical to gaining consumers' trust on social sites, according to a report relayed by eMarketer.