How much power does the consumer have? In the Internet age, when everyone is connected to some form of social media? A lot.
Just last week, the GAP announced plans to shelve its new logo after consumers objected en masse to the retailer’s proposed design. Shoppers believed that like New Coke, GAP was fixing something that wasn’t broken. And that even if you didn’t like the old logo, the band-aid was just too ugly to be allowed.
On the plus side, however, everyone spent the week talking about GAP, so it wasn’t a total PR failure.
Shortly after the Interwebs felled the GAP’s Helvetica font change, J.Crew was decimated by a hairy situation of their own.
Last week, we discussed how a designer bag looked more like a gynecological exam gone wrong than a purse. This week, J.Crew continues the anatomical gaffes with these lace tights, which look more like my Aunt Edna’s au naturale gams than fashionable legwear. The look was some convincing that some bloggers actually believed that the preppy retailer was pushing an anti-razor, pro-hippie agenda.
The Internet mocking got so loud that the retailer actually changed the photos on their website to remove the hirsute legwear from their site. After all, American women don’t spend thousands of dollars per year plucking, threading, waxing and lasering to then cover their stems in furlike undergarments.
Social media has made the consumer more powerful than ever before, and it’s great that retailers are listening to the notes left in their virtual comment box. Hopefully, we will use our new found power for good instead of evil. I only wish this technology had existed during the late 1990s, then we could have prevented those damn blue M&Ms from taking over the world.