For those who love GAP, listen up. In case you’ve not heard, the new GAP logo was pulled off the market within 5 days and replaced with the original logo after complaints on social media from consumers.
Hearing about the GAP logo, took me back to 2002 when Price Waterhouse Coopers announced it would rename its consulting practice to “Monday” and the immediate outcry that followed that announcement.
AdAge reported, “The logo, created by New York agency Laird & Partners, was intended to be a long-term commitment for the brand with a nod to the future.”
Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, initially defended the decision as “[The new logo] honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward,” Hansen said. “Our brand and our clothes are changing and rethinking our logo is part of aligning with that.”
And all of that kind of makes sense from a corporate perspective, GAP sports a traditional typeface and sounds like leadership thought “modernizing” was in order. But consumers did not agree and ultimately they buy the stuff.
What this really demonstrates is the popularity a mark itself can have…the power and ownership consumers feel over the brands they truly like, buy, wear, drink, eat, use and talk about. And it doesn’t hurt that GAP is one of those highly recognized, classic identities…we can thank their skillfully produced TV spots, blue drawstring shopping bags and most recently actor Jesse Eisenberg wearing a GAP hooded sweatshirt in The Social Network.
So where does this leave branding professionals? Do we have to rethink our consumer input process? Will we be asking for permission more verses forgiveness? And how will brand boutiques really feel about crowd sourcing alternative logo ideas online?
No doubt the GAP logo episode will be one replayed by marketers for a long time to come.