Dear Gap

Dear Gap,

Thank you for showing us how not to go about changing your logo. You’ve pretty much admitted that you cocked it up, which is a good start on the path to recovering some credibility, but, wow, what a roller-coaster of a week it’s been for you.

As if deciding to change the logo so radically in the first place wasn’t erroneous enough, it seems that you thought that trying to turn the mess you’d brought upon yourselves into some kind of “crowd-sourcing” exercise was a good idea too. Thank you for this hilarious piece of backpedaling:

“Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing. We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”

Cannot say I’m too surprised that that piece of attempted smoke &  mirrors didn’t work and to see the news today that you’re reverting to the original logo across all channels, as reported here on mad.co.uk and loads of other places, here on businessweek.com and here on the BBC

Now, there’s nothing wrong with changing your logo if it’s been around for a while and is beginning to look a bit dusty and dated, but I’m very much of the “minor tweak” school of thought, as demonstrated here by BMW and MasterCard (which I posted on here, on a different topic):

(Thanks to instantshift.com from whom I’ve shamelessly borrowed these images – click here for the full article.)

But doing something quite so radical is just asking for trouble in my book. Why would you throw away one of your prized and hard-earned assets? If I was prone to marketing clichés and business-speak-blah (which I know I am guilty of from time to time), I could mention the baby and the bath water at this point…

…Unless this whole thing is a scurrilous piece of PR cunningly designed to get you back in the headlines…? (After all with the bad PR you’ve had over the years, this would be a walk in the park). I suspect it’s not though, but if you get even more desperate, you could think about fabricating a back-story along those lines…but who would you tell?!

5 years ago it took quite a lot of effort for consumers to demonstrate that they were “up in arms” about some brand or marketing related issue, although the press – especially here in the UK – would leap on any opportunity to fan the flames created by Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells and his Post Office loving, Consignia hating friends.

But today, it has become so easy to express your opinion – or at least to click to agree that you agree with someone else’s opinion – that I suspect that, thanks to you Gap, we just won’t be seeing mainstream brands attempting such radical folly. Tweaks, yes, logo Armageddon, no. So thanks for that.

Ned

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