Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Minding the Gap Logo

Well, let’s talk about commitment and your corporate identity. As everyone knows by now, the Gap made an identity change, launched it online and received and outcry from customers and the design community saying it was a poor move. They pulled it very publicly and apologized saying they will go back to the blue box.
A bad logo? Maybe. It is not very original, that’s for sure. Doesn’t say fashion, hip, your generation, not your parent’s clothes, etc, etc. looks like typewriter font. I was at their stores the other day. Seemed that the logo was tied into a sparse black and white in-store approach under a banner of a “Classic 1969” approach.
The company certainly has had its share of disappointing results over the last couple of years, like a lot of retailers in this tough economy. Probably more so having lost some "cool".  Certainly, the brief to the agency was to gain back the luster, the authenticity. Provide an uplift.

Sometimes moves are wrong and not well enough thought out. All marketers have lived through them and learned.  So here are the questions.  First, is there a consumer insight here?  Does it move the needle on some criteria?  If it played well to the target and they are inspired then your work is done and you should support the move. I have to believe that it was not tested.  Anyone can comment on liking or disliking, but management would have supported this if the consumer and shopper wanted it. There would have been commitment and an understanding that they would face some heat with such a sparse treatment.  That is what is so weird. Who owns the brand? Marketers selling hard up the line or an agency with too much power (and then losing it). Lack of consumer insight. These are the issues at play here.

What to do now? Have some fun with this and get your core customers involved. Enlist the folks that made you great and then stick by these folks until the end once you have made the call and commit.realize that an icon this big belongs to the people. Listen, design, listen again, then go and don't look back.

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