The outrageous GAP logo fiasco

Logo & Brand review

The Gap, a prominent American clothing brand with a long-standing reputation of quality and dependability, is now unfortunately caught in the middle of a complete and utter logo fiasco. Customer feedback generated by their recent logo revamp contagiously spread across social media networks within minutes and has sent this company reeling and left them literally teetering on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  If you haven’t already been sucked in by this logo blunder, here are some of the pressing details as they have unraveled over the past few days.

The Gap has been an American institution for over forty years. It is an American icon that prides itself on its durable jeans, its comfortable everyday clothing and its strong reputation. With their classic blue-boxed logo, the Gap has built up a strong brand recognition and customer loyalty. Last week however, the Gap attracted a lot of attention on the Web as it released a new logo design for their company in an attempt to revitalize their company as a more modern, contemporary and forward-thinking company.

Here are the old and new Gap logos side-by-side:

The new and old Gap logos
The new logo shows a move away from their classic blue-boxed serif logo design towards a more minimalist design where a blue square is simply perched behind the ‘p’ of the popular Helvetica font. Louise Callagy, a Gap spokeswoman, told Ad Age that "for the last two years we've been working on evolving the brand identity for Gap, [The new logo] is more contemporary and current and honors the heritage of the Gap brand with the blue box but takes it forward."

Almost immediately, the new logo design went viral and sparked an onslaught of negative feedback. Vocalized primarily on Twitter and Facebook, some users called the logo amateur while some users said that the new Gap logo looked like that for a “finance company” or a “tech company”. One Twitter user even went so far as to complain that the new Gap logo “looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word”.

In response, last Wednesday the Gap posted this response on their Facebook page:

“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.”

Again, this comment unleashed another series of customer backlash as people complained that turning this into a “crowd sourcing project” would only further damage the Gaps reputation. Finally, last night the Gap logo fiasco may have finally come to an end. In another statement on Facebook, the Gap announced that they would be turning on their heels and running for the hills. They have decided to crumble under customer pressure and due to such negative customer feedback, they will revert to using their old logo design.

“Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowd sourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”

This all just seems so crazy to me. How could such a massive company make such a massive blunder? How could they so obviously try to cut corners and go about releasing a new logo without first doing any market research? Personally, I agree with a lot of the negative customer feedback. I think that the Gaps proposed new logo looks cheap, sterile, plain and conservative. They clearly want to change the direction of their company however, they tried to do so without seeming to have a clear idea as to what direction that actually is. It seems that with this 'new' logo release, the Gap was more focused on how they see themselves than on how their consumers see them. And now, since they have decided to revert back to using their old logo, the Gap looks cowardly, amateur and unprofessional. It is a complete and utter logo redesign failure.

Do you agree?

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