Saturday, April 20, 2024

Corporate Branding Design: New Gap Logo Hatred

October 11, 2010  
Filed under Coffee Table

By Annie Suh —

A smart re-branding strategy.

corporate branding design

Last Monday, Gap unveiled a new logo on their website that became the talk of the week. There were over 1,000 commenters on their Facebook page passionately opposed to the logo calling it a “clip-art version” and “OMG that is butt UGLY! I can do that on my computer! You could’ve paid me the big bucks instead.”

Then Gap responded by asking fans to contribute: “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.”

Does this sound like one of their best publicity stunts ever? If the saying is true that “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” then they’ve completely succeeded. And they didn’t need to spend millions on advertising to create top-of-mind brand awareness. They just created a bad logo, waited for people to respond, and then let people submit free ideas of their own that might possibly become the next trademark they didn’t have to pay for.

Or, maybe Gap really thought the public would fall in love with the new logo. On the day it gets slapped onto bags and the store signs change is when we’ll find out if that was true.

Last year, Tropicana sold their orange juice with a new design and sales dropped 20% for two months until they decided to scrap the new idea and revert back to the original version—the one with the straw poked inside an orange. The same might happen to Gap, or maybe even just the opposite as a result of the brand exposure.

One thing for sure is that more people are thinking and talking about Gap because of this. I haven’t been to the store in ages but it made me want to check out their changing, more “current” looks. Marka Hansen, the president of Gap wrote in the Huffington Post:

“The natural step for us on this journey is to see how our logo—one that we’ve had for more than 20 years—should evolve. Our brand and our clothes are changing and rethinking our logo is part of aligning with that….We chose this design as it’s more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.”

If the blue box is their way of “thinking out of the box,” can they get anymore literal? Changing the corporate branding design of a classic company is a risky thing. Microsoft did it right when they re-branded their search engine from Live Search to the sleek Bing.

piken real estate publicity stuntIf this new Gap logo was a publicity stunt, it was a pretty smart tactic—which reminds me of the upside down billboards that Piken Real Estate purposely planted around the city (a successful campaign)—but if it was the real deal, I don’t know what else to say… except that maybe we’ll get used to it like we got used to Facebook when they changed the new interface everyone complained about. We’ll just have to wait and see.


One Response to “Corporate Branding Design: New Gap Logo Hatred”
  1. Annie says:

    And the wait is over. Brought back the classic logo just a week later. (Oct 12, 2010). Just enough time to create some buzz!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!