The recent fiasco surrounding the failed attempt at re-branding at Gap shows that if not done right, re-brandings can go horribly wrong. The clothing manufacturer attempted to replace its well-known 20 year old logo and completely botched the process. Customer reaction to its efforts was swift and overwhelming: from a Facebook page entitled “I think the new Gap logo sucks” to numerous Twittter posts excoriating the company, customers were incensed. The backlash forced the company to make an abrupt u-turn and stick with its “old” logo.
As marketers, we should learn from colossal mistakes like this and adopt re-branding best practices since customers are sensitive to abrupt changes .
To avoid a Gap-like re-branding nightmare:
Consider the need to re-brand. Do you fully need to re-brand? Are there compelling business reasons? Would a few evolutionary tweaks be sufficient?
- Gradually unveil your re-branding efforts. Don’t spring a total re-branding on your customers. Explain the reasons behind your efforts and give them time to get used to the changes.
- Listen to your constituencies, but lead trends. Use social media to communicate with your customers. Ask relevant questions to plumb the depths of their feelings regarding your brand. Once you decide on a course of action, use social media to communicate your plans, reasons for the change, time line, etc.
Following these simple rules will help you avoid re-branding pitfalls, keep your customers happy, and increase your brand loyalty.