12 October 2010 | Team Tamar

Knowledge Gap

It’s official. The Gap has gone back to its old logo.

The new logo, introduced just last week, didn’t stand a chance once fans mobilized against it in social media–the Gap’s Facebook page was flooded with protests, a fake Twitter account for the ‘old’ logo was set up and gained thousands of followers, someone even went out of their way to create a farcical Gap logo generator that went viral.

To some, the clothier made things worse for itself when it used crowd sourcing to improve its situation. Via Facebook, the Gap asked the anti-new logo protestors to submit their own designs. This went down horribly with the design community (good designers apparently never give their work away for free).

What this whole debacle illustrates to me is that the Gap wasn’t in tune with its customers. A brand on the same page as its customers wouldn’t have made such a poor decision.

Further, there are important lessons to learn from ‘logo-gate’. First and foremost, social media is a powerful tool that can help a brand gauge sentiment and what it is that their customers want. Secondly, don’t wait til disaster hits to use crowd sourcing. Why didn’t the Gap use crowd sourcing to test the waters to see how fans would have felt about the logo change? Crowd sourcing has the potential to help a brand make better, less costly business decisions.

Hopefully, The Gap has pulled together its savviest social media minds to capitalize on the increased engagement with the brand the old vs. new logo debate has driven. A quarter of the posts I’ve read on Facebook, blogs, and Twitter are voicing opinions about things outside of the logo debate (i.e. clothing quality, selection, general sentiment about the brand). The Gap, are you listening?

Team Tamar