If they don’t now, they probably will in the future.
Recently, Gap sparked its passionate customer base by changing its logo to reflect a more modern image. The response from Gap customers was loud and clear, causing Gap to take down the new logo and replace it with the iconic blue box logo.
In a press release from Gap Inc., they stated the lesson learned, "…we [Gap] missed the opportunity to engage with the online community."
The bottom line is customers are gaining influence. We all know this. But, the Gap story demonstrates how much influence they have.
Based on a global study conducted by the Economist in 2008, it found that:
- Customers will have a significant influence on innovation in 2013.
- The way companies analyze and respond to customer information will be a key competitive differentiator by the year 2013.
- In the year 2013, customer information will come from a "myriad" of sources.
We are half way from the time when this study was conducted (2008) to the time in which executives were asked to base their responses (2013) and it is evident, from stories like Gap and others, that these anticipated business changes are becoming reality.
If you haven’t started asking yourself these questions, now is the time:
- How are we capturing the voice of the customer? Does it include a myriad of sources? What’s missing?
- How do we respond to customer information? Are we using the information to create a competitive advantage, to engage our passionate customers, and to respond to customer needs?
Photo credit: aemde