Wednesday, October 13

Who Owns Your Brand?

As if we needed a reminder, but this week's drama with the Gap logo taught us all a very good lesson. We don't own our brand.

Now whether you think it was a well calculated social media stunt, a great use of market research, or simply an open mistake, the reversal of the Gap logo is an amazing illustration of the power of the consumer -- particularly the power of the consumer in social media.

Within hours of the release of the new logo last week, consumers were already rejecting it. There was even an app created and shared that made a mockery of it.

To Gap's credit, they responded immediately on Facebook by offering consumers a chance to submit logo designs. Then only days later, as the criticism mounted, management decided to revert back to the old logo. They say that they may revisit a refresh at some point, but they promise to do it very differently next time around. Probably by including their consumers.

We don't own our brands - our consumers do. Social media has put them in charge and given them a vehicle to amass their comments and strengthen their voice. And we had better listen!

The key here is to recognize that power and participate in it. Create an amazing brand experience that is shaped by your consumers, evolving with them as their needs change, and always adding value to their lives.

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. Very indicative. There is a company that harnesses consumer insights in a controlled organized fashion called Think Passenger. With the power of "crowd sourcing" as it stated in the Gap release, will that render this type of company/service less effective? In essence, even if you maximize R&D for, in this case, a logo design if the "crowd" doesn't like it a brand will have to go back to the drawing board. What times ahead!