A Lesson From The Gap: The Social Contract is a 2-way Street

Every company wants brand loyal customers, but this level of commitment requires the same degree of loyalty in return. Consumers value interactive experiences, one “Like” on a corporate Facebook Page can spread as virally among users as trending Twitter topics.

This was certainly the case when Gap recently unveiled its modern logo re-design. The sudden appearance of the new logo on the company’s website caused virtual uproar among graphic designers and Gap-loyal customers alike. Social media sites especially fueled the debate, giving outraged consumers a place to rant about the company’s unsophisticated, cheap new look. The innuendo of the former blue box, now a small gradient in the upper right-hand corner, arguably lacked the power, boldness, and tradition of Gap’s original look, and many felt the logo resembled the recently redesigned Price WaterHouse Coopers’ new look.

In fact, Gap got so much pressure from the community that they quickly reverted back to the old one with this notice on Facebook:

Gap: Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowd sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.” http://bit.ly/9xvtvJ
And more: “At Gap brand, our customers have always come first.”

The Gap presents a great case study of cultivating relationships through social media.

Companies who value their employees can learn a great lesson from this example. The social contract is a 2-way street, and companies who listen and act on customer or employee feedback across any channel will build a concrete brand and an unbreakable bond within their target communities.

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