Poor Gap. They were so excited about launching their new “ throwback” logo. The stage was set; press releases went to the media; stories launched all over the Internet. Then, it happened. There was an outcry against the logo from customers; an online campaign opposing it went viral, and the logo crashed faster than a rookie NASCAR driver.
Headlines across the nation showed no mercy: “ Gap Logo a No-Go” (Montreal Gazette); “ Gap Scraps Logo After Just One Week” (AOL DailyFinance); “ New Gap Logo, Despised Symbol of Corporate Banality, Dead at One Week” (Vanity Fair Daily).
This Gap marketing malfunction begs several questions: If Gap’ s fans were so outspoken post release, did the company seek their customers’ opinion beforehand? What exactly made the logo so unacceptable? Was it the color? Was it the font? Was it the placement of that little blue box?
Belk, on the other hand, just introduced their new logo into several of its primary markets with successful unveiling ceremonies and grand re-openings across the region. This was the first time in 43 years that the company launched a major rebranding effort. The new logo incorporates elements of the company’ s history and also gives a nod to the future.
Belk talked to their customers first. In fact, they researched customer sentiment about the logo with extensive focus groups and market studies. The company invested the requisite time and money to make a logo well received. Headlines this time: “ A Brand New Look for Regional Retailer Belk” (The Birmingham News); “ Belk Chain Reinvents Itself with New Logo and Identity” (The Florida Times-Union).
The customer may not be sitting in an office at your corporate headquarters, but they are an integral component of the success or failure of your company. After all, where does brand loyalty reside? With the customer.