New Gap logo – PR ploy or bad rebranding?

If you haven’t seen or heard yet, the Gap brand has changed its logo (see picture above) to the dismay of seemingly everyone who has taken a look.

Now Gap is supposedly backtracking and accepting new designs from the public.

The clothing company posted the following on their Facebook page after allowing the fire of comments to blaze for just enough time: “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 out version, but we’d like to…see other ideas. Stayed turned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”

Now the question is about whether this was an intentional PR ploy to get people talking about the retailer since sales have been slow in recent months. It is clear that people are not happy though and if it was for PR, it was not a smart move in my opinion. Gap is such an iconic American brand that they could have easily started a campaign for the redesign of the logo and had the public’s input from day one with a similar amount of frenzy. The difference is that it would not seem misleading and backhanded. If the new “crowd sourcing project” turns out to be intentional, many people will have a sour taste in their mouth for the once wholesome retailer.

A parody Twitter has been launched (@gaplogo) and many are making references to other failed attempts at rebranding – see article on Tropicana’s branding blunder here.

What do you think? Intentional or not? Smart or bad decision? Either way, will people stop shopping there? Probably not.

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