Listen before you leap

Much has been made of the great Gap logo debacle… you know – the one where they changed their logo, suffered a public beat-down for everything from font choice to corporate leadership, then admitted defeat by switching back to ‘Gap Classic.’
There are many points of view on the potential impact of the logo change and many lessons to learn from how the situation was handled, but those of us involved in Strategic Account Management can adopt one key message to many situations: Listen Before You Leap.

Regardless of whether or not you believe Gap’s logo switch would have had any notable impact on retail sales or customer intentions, at any time, we, our companies or our clients could be on the verge of implementing a decision that will have similar unanticipated consequences on revenue and/or reputation.  One way to insure against a Gap-like backlash is to make decisions with the volume turned up on all listening posts -- not least of all the voice of the customer, which can provide the most direct advance feedback on the potential business impact of any action being considered, and even signpost the way to the most advantageous choices for our future success.

Jennifer Batley
VP, Strategic Accounts

(First published on SAM Source, November 9, 2010)


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