After 20 plus years, Gap decided they needed to change their logo to signify changes that have occurred and would occur in the near future within their company. To Gap, this new logo was modern and showed progression. They kept the iconic blue box, but made it smaller and moved it to overlap the right-side of the ‘P’; the box was looking ahead to the future, claimed Bill Chandler, vice president of corporate communications at Gap.
After debuting this logo, Gap received much criticism. During this backlash, the company announced that the logo was part of a crowd sourcing project, encouraging fans to submit their own logo designs through Facebook, Twitter, and their own websites. The company wanted to show that they were “listening” to their consumer. Within a week of this crowd sourcing initiative, the company cancelled it and decided not to change anything and keep their iconic blue box logo. Gap’s reaction took place over a week. Unfortunately, a week is hardly enough time to get a true sense of people’s true sentiments, especially when the critics are usually the loudest and first to say something.
In the Internet age, companies have the ability to get consumer feedback before making changes, but they must expect to get some sort of backlash at first. People do not like change and almost always refuse to embrace it (at least in the beginning), this is especially true when the consumer has built a rapport with the brand and feels like they are a part of it. Take Facebook for example. Every time Facebook changes, there is an uproar until the change is made and even a few days or weeks after. Facebook goes ahead with the changes (most of the time), despite the uproar, because they know they are making changes that will ultimately benefit the user and their company. And like most company changes and rebranding efforts, the consumers acclimate to the changes, embrace them, and forget what the old version was like.
This leaves you wondering, in the Internet age, with so much access to consumers thoughts and feelings, how should a company re-brand and make changes? Are changes impossible with Facebook and twitter, feeding information before the change can actually take place?