Two weeks ago Gap unveiled a new logo, to the chagrin of many customers and fans. Not only was the logo not well-received, but it was changed within a week. Milk has a longer shelf life.
Social media is an excellent tool for reaching your audience and getting feedback, but where do companies draw the line between accommodating what their fans want and standing by the changing identity of their brand?
Social media gurus praised Gap’s response and considered it a sign that the company was listening to its audience. Others felt that their reaction was a tad hasty, citing the length of time that the logo existed to the public was simply too short for them to adapt, and gave their audience a little too much say in the new logo’s fate. Where’s Gap’s credibility moving forward? They seem like pushovers.
I’m not saying to ignore your public completely. After all, they’re the reason your brand even exists, however you need to use the tools at hand to ease the transition for them.
Let’s face it – it takes folks awhile to adapt to change. Yes, change is inevitable, but most of us don’t like it. However, would we be happy today still thinking that the world was flat? I should hope not. Change is necessary and brands must evolve.
Companies should obtain useful feedback by deploying Facebook and Twitter as part of the communication stages and explain the thought process and reason for change leading up to the big reveal. In the case of Gap, social media outcries were the reason for the abandonment of the new logo. Had the audience felt more involved maybe they wouldn’t have had quite the same reaction.
Social media is a tool to help you engage your customers and have them engage with you in return. The feedback is quick and candid. And sometimes it’s harsh, but that’s part of its appeal. Use social media effectively, test a few things out; social media is essentially a focus group without a filter – and it’s free. See what your audience wants, ask them a question. Believe me, they’ll answer loud and clear. Be prepared for ANY answer. And put it to use so that the change, whatever it may be, pleases both company and customer.
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