After a week of insisting that replacing its old logo with something more modern was indeed a good move, the Gap has swallowed a corporate-sized pill and decided to stick with its old logo.
On Monday afternoon, the company reassured its Facebook and Twitter followers that it had heard their complaints loud and clear and posted links to a press release from Gap North America president Marka Hansen to both social networking sites. Hansen, who coyly defended the new logo on The Huffington Post not four days ago, was more or less forced to acknowledge that the furor over the new logo was bad for business. And after thanking the public for the deluge of opinions it gave her company freely, Hansen had this to say:
“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.
There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way.”
While we thought that different way might include a different creative agency, we were wrong. Gap representative Louise Callagy told Advertising Age that Laird and Partners, the firm responsible for creating the new logo, would still keep the Gap contract, even after all of the ire its new logo generated.
But that’s a minor detail compared to the real importance of this story, which is that as consumers, we kinda won. Not too long ago, the people whose money kept the lights on at these big clothing companies didn’t actually have much say in what their clothes or ads or brand messages looked like. Sure there was the odd focus group or on-the-street outreach team. But for the most part, the masses hadn’t been a part of the process. Hansen and her creative team have learned over the past week that their customers aren’t afraid to speak their minds when they see something they don’t like.
And hopefully other brands in the fashion industry (and outside of it, too) heard the same message loud and clear. Any brand with a Facebook page would do well to think twice before making a move that hasn’t factored in the attitudes of its consumers. If you didn’t like the logo and voiced your opinion about it, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve done good.
Also, if you’d like to try your hand at showing the Internet what the new Gap logo should have looked like, 99Designs is hosting a contest to see who can come up with the best version. The winner gets $500, so be sure to throw your hat in the ring today. Just don’t use Helvetica.