Branding and social media lessons from Gap’s logo backlash
What did Gap get wrong - and right - when its new logo led to a firestorm on the social web? And what can other businesses learn from it?
- Listening to the conversation and paying attention – "Gap knew that the new logo would generate buzz, and had their ear on the conversation as soon as the logo went live," says Shaw. "But they didn't limit their range to their customers – they listened to people speaking on all aspects of the topic. This was especially important when it came to contexts of conversation around design. Although the designers were not necessarily fans of their brand, their voices were strong in the overall conversation. Gap recognised that, and knew it had to appease the designers if they were going to overcome this PR crisis."
- Participating in the debate – "Press releases will get you nowhere – you need to get in on the debate WHERE it is happening. Gap primarily used its Facebook page, with more than 720,000 fans, to post updates and responses to criticism."
- Identifying the influencers – "Who are your promoters and detractors? Find out who they are and engage with them as necessary – be personal if you have to, but don't be pushy. By listening, [Gap was] able to address those sore points specifically, which no doubt aided the positive reception of their decision to scrap the new logo."
- Acting swiftly – "The procrastinator's approach to dealing with crises – ignore it until it goes away – is no longer viable thanks to the internet. As the Gap logo illustrates, a story can spiral out of control within hours, and the sooner you respond, the better you’ll be able to manage it."
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.