Acting On What You Hear Fills The Gap

By Sheldon Levine - Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at 7:30 am  

A little more than a week ago The Gap decided to do away with the logo they have been sporting for the last 20 years in favour of a new sleeker minimalist one. This Monday they made a public announcement that would be returning back to their original logo.

What could make a huge company like The Gap change its mind about such a major change so quickly? Their public.

When Gap showcased their new logo on their Facebook page their followers cried foul. Some felt that the old logo was a well-known symbol and didn’t need to be changed, while others thought the new design was just ugly. While a lot of the complaints directed at Gap happened on their Facebook page, the whole internet seemed to be a buzz about the situation.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, we were able to take a closer look at the buzz around this logo situation.

Looking at our popularity chart, which shows spikes in conversation, we analyzed The Gap in general. We see that the company had a steady amount of talk around their corporation for the last six months, but saw huge spikes in the last two weeks, the time when the new logo was debuted.

Delving deeper into the time around those spikes in the conversation we were able to put together a buzz graph of some of the most common words used in association with The Gap in people’s conversations. If you look right in the middle we can see that most of the conversation stemmed from their “logo”.

If we take a closer look at some of the words that stem from the logo discussion we can see that there was a lot of talk about a “backlash” and “outcry” calling the whole “redesign” of the logo a “debacle”.

At this point Gap knew that they had to do something.

People accuse corporations of never listening to their public, but now that can’t be said for The Gap. On Monday of this week, just a week after the debut of the new logo, Gap president Marka Hansen released the following statement:

“Since we rolled out an updated version of our logo last week on our website, we’ve seen an outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.

“Last week, we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion. Ultimately, we’ve learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we’ve made the decision not to use the new logo on any further.

“At Gap brand, our customers have always come first. We’ve been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back. So we’ve made the decision to do just that – we will bring it back across all channels.

“In the meantime, the website will go back to our iconic blue box logo and, for Holiday, we’ll turn our blue box red for our seasonal campaign.

“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community.  This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.

“There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way.“

All of this because they had the good mind to really listen to their public via social media channels and then act on what they heard.

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