Know thy brand, because your customers do

By Stephen Rhodes

Last month, one of our clients approached us about changing their brand.

When I explained that brands are not socks, and probably what they really wanted to do was freshen up their logo,  we had an engaging conversation about what they believed their brand represented. When I asked the next question, what do your customers think, there was one of those long pregnant pauses.

In October last year The Gap  did an about face after introducing a new logo that ignited a customer backlash. Customers went viral onFacebook and Twitter and the Gap applied the brakes and withdrew the new logo after spending millions. The updated logo consisted of a small blue box placed above the upper right-hand corner of the “p“ in the company’s name.

Gap initially defended the new logo, saying that it brought the company into the modern age. It also asked customers to share their ideas for improving the design.

But the clothes retailer found itself the target of an astonishing volley of abuse as thousands of users blasted the new design.
Companies, even those as big as the Gap, need to understand they don’t own their brand, their customers do.

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