Gap recently beat a hasty and well-publicized retreat after it introduced a new logo without first telling the people most interested – its customers – the reasons behind the change. Once mass hysteria over the new logo spread, it was too late. Explanations were unacceptable. Loyal fans had been eliminated from the equation. They felt slighted, distanced. Gap had lived up to its name.
The chain chose to make the change in part because sales are slumping. When it seems there’s no other place to shake things up, corporations often look to their brands. And that’s good, because your brand is one place where very few rules apply. Tough times demand creative solutions. Try something bold. Be brave and explore uncharted territory. But don’t forget the consumers whose loyalty you’ve already captured and count on the most. Keep their needs and expectations in mind before, during and after the process.
Offend your adoring public and you’ll wind up like Gap, building bridges instead of sales.