• Why do I have the suspect this was all purposedly devised as one of the most successful viral campaigns ever? Doesn’t the timing and modality of this happening sound odd to you as well, Suzanne?

    • Gabriele

      I thought it was esp when they were crowd sourcing but when they announced that they were going to be using the old logo, I realized that they just muffed this up. They missed so much in opportunity that it shows some disarray. Ok they wanted a new logo; ok they went very very simple which is missing their demo and target but hey that is my opinion I guess; now when people were coming out in drones saying that they did not like it they had such a chance which they started to take but the pulled back. I did not necessarily agree that crowd sourcing was the way to go but they had our attention and could have turned it from the logo to the 1969 jeans and other promos. They could have done so much with our attention but instead they said no, we are keeping the old logo than you very much and sent us on our way.

      They could have made this into a very very successful viral campaign but somewhere along the line they missed the mark and boy oh boy was that a mistake.

      Thanks for always dropping in and sharing your thoughts. I would love to try and be brilliant and talk in Italian but I know I would muff it up and look really silly. Here is one on word I know: Ciao!

      @Suzanne Vara

      • Hehe Ciao to you too ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Anyway, I think it went viral anyway in the end. And I am thinking about the “crap logo generator” many people used to change their Twitter persona, among other things. That made me think: wanna bet Gap itself was behing that generator? Dunno, I guess I am suspect by nature ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Their agency has been unavailable for comment which leads one to believe that this could have generated by the gap but then I think that the agency would not allow something so awful to be out there with their name attached to it.

          It did go viral but they could have done more with the holidays coming.

          Come voi, oggi? Sto facendo bene. Come รจ il tempo in Italia? Siamo in calo ma qui a Las Vegas, รจ ancora anni ’80. Anche questo รจ il mio miglior italiano (intendo il traduttore che ho usato).

          • Yeah it probably could’ve done much more.
            Was raining all day here, sad :p My company’s CTO and CCO married in Vegas, by the way, talk about coincidences

          • yeah, the translator thingie worked and I spoke in italian. Whoo hoo. Yes it is the little things that get me excited.

            sorry it is raining. We hardly ever get rain so when we do people get all happy. Me, I love the blue skies and abundant sunshine.

            Vegas is the place I hear to get married. Not a trip I am taking any time soon though it is really close and convenient and open 24 hrs.

          • I had the temperature Vegas has in summer I’d be dead since a long time, can’t stand the heat ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • I am a cold whimp. the heat does not bother me so much as everything here has A/C. I lived in NJ for 30 yrs and did my time of cold weather. Though my son would do anything to be able to play in the snow and have snowball fights.

            Does it get really cold in Tuscany?

          • Depends on the year. Last year we got tons of snow for 2-3 times, but nothing too freezing. I don’t mind cold weather as long as no rain (yes, as typical italian I have a Vespa to go to work).

          • you are so cool. I tweeted that too. A vespa to work. I need to be in italy I tell ya.

  • I think this was not a disaster, but not a success. We are always taught in business school that the best companies take nigh disasters and turn them into raging successes. Gap avoided the disaster, but in just shrugging and giving up they haven’t made it a success.

    Though I will say I have thought more about Gap in the past few days than in the past four months. Not all negatively, either.

    • Kate

      I do agree with what we have learned, definitely but the disaster was in that they did not change their way and take advantage of the attention they had and promote their offerings. We were all listening, blogging, talking, etc but they sent us on our way. Pretty much thank you for telling us our new logo was ugly, we went back to the old one and move on. So we did., That is a disaster as they could have done so much with this. Shift it from the logo and move the attention to the brand offerings. To me that is a disaster as they missed such an incredible opportunity that other brands would kill for. They had us at logo and left us at logo.

      Thank you so much for reading, commenting and tweeting. I really appreciate it.


  • Hi Suzanne,

    Changing one’s logo can often be a desperate attempt to kickstart a dying brand. The BBC did something the same changing the logo from BOLD to Italics. It cost over 2 million pounds. It didn’t work and they changed it back to bold again, another few million.

    If this was my company – and the $ was coming out of my back pocket – I’d do other things rather than change the logo like make better products.

    Fwiw I really liked the old logo. Thought it was strong, vibrant and clean colors.


    • Ivan

      The old logo was defining, easily recognized and universal. It was only 20 years old. Geez if we are washed up after 20 years in the marketplace and need to be replaced, um I better run.

      Interesting about the BBC. They went the extra mile and changed everything with a very hefty price tag. Gap did not do that and a part of me thinks that they probably knew that the reaction would be or wanted to at least test the waters.

      Gap has a decent product offering for their target market. they are steady. The quality is generally really pretty good so this was a shake-up for some reason. I just wished they would have pushed more as to what they have going on and kept our attention. The 1969 jean promo is kinda backwards as it is about 1969 but yet has recycling in it. Erm … being that we were just really adapting to pampers then, I know not much in recycling was going on. It is bring back to the roots with push to meet the needs of their target.

      Great to have you back here.

      • Hey Suzanne,

        i used to design fonts many moons ago. I thought the ‘old’ logo was terrific, esp the dark blue.

        Why change a winning team?

        Like you said, maybe there are changes at the top and this has trickled down to the Marketing Dept.

        re pampers…one of the surprises when we lived in China was that babies tended not to wear pampers. They got trained real early and just went wherever ๐Ÿ™‚


        • Ivan

          Interesting about china and pampers; interesting good and interesting oh my oh my. I was lucky as my boy was very easy to potty train. He hated to be wet so big kid underwear, he got em wet a few times and that was that. He was potty trained in 2 days.

          I liked the old logo too. The new one was speaking to the older crowd when they wanted to be talking to the younger crowd. Well now they are staying with the old logo and realized that people liked it and they can now repair the inner problems that see to have erupted.

  • I think this gap logo fiasco is really indicative of why so many large companies are struggling. At best if the new logo had been a smashing success it doesn’t fix any of the actual problems. If you take a used car salesman out of a plaid polyester sport coat and put him in a $2,000 suit he is still a used car salesman.

    Slogans, logos and mission statements are only relevant if they are an outward representation of the actions of the company. Trying to change the outside with out changing the inside first does not work.

    • Bob

      Very valid point and one that I missed (owch!) Thank you as we know that comments always end up being better than the blog and the author saying, man why did I not think of that?

      Anyway we saw the breakdown of the inside company here. Let’s crowd source, no, no we are now not doing that, let’s have a new logo, no no we are staying with the old. I guess I am old school in that I have 2 plans: new logo – people love we have this plan; people hate we have this plan (I also have the middle of the line plan). You are a big brand that is going to capture the eyes and ears of the media and social community. They completely broke down and as I said in other comments, sent us on our way. Internally that smells like confusion. Will that affect the over sales this holiday season? Probably not as people need clothes so will they see record sales, no, will they be below, possibly but that does not have much to do with the logo situation.

      I just hate to see a brand miss an opportunity like they did with having our attention and doing nothing with it.

      Hope all is well and it is nice to see you again.

  • I think the logo issue showcased more about what is wrong with agencies rather than companies or brands. In many cases, they are the blind leading the blind inside a box the agency doesn’t want to get out of. (Take a look at the Laird & Partners website…) Agencies will eventually do for design what the railroad industry did for the airlines.

    Apparently design does have value standing alone, not just bundled up into a media buy.

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