The Gap Logo Disaster
Since launching on October 4th, Gap’s new logo has received a firestorm of criticism from every corner of the Internet. Gap swapped the old logo for the new one on their website without saying a single word and once fans and consumers caught sight of it, they turned to the Internet to complain. Consumers immediately compared the new logo to Coca-Cola’s release of New Coke saying it was best left alone. Fans on Twitter and Facebook were not afraid to critique the design and point out that the new logo destroyed the brand image Gap had spent 22 years developing.
Completely stunned by the overwhelming and unexplainable response, the company reacted to what was quickly becoming a public relations fiasco by sending out a friendly invite to fans. Just a few days later the message appeared on their Facebook fan page asking for new design ideas and inspiration to replace the very unpopular new logo. The company stated that they were listening to consumer complaints and returning to the original design. Most importantly, Gap admitted to missing the chance to gather consumer input and they say that when it does come time for the logo to evolve, they will go about it in a different way. Although many fans reacted instantaneously to Gap’s decision to bring the old logo back with joy and appreciation, many are left wondering if a contribution to the future logo design will be utilized or just tossed in the vault.
Even though consumers can sleep well knowing their complaints were heard, stockholders, employees and even competitors must be in awe at how such a large and established company could make such a silly mistake. Gap had a solid fan base of 700,000 people and could have benefited greatly by simply listening to what they had to say and getting their input on the design and the new company image. The fact of the matter is that a logo is extremely important to a brand and often consumers find themselves connected with the image, which in this case, proved true on multiple levels.
This story has become another example for other businesses utilizing social media. Thankfully, through all this drama, we can learn a thing or two from Gap and hope that no such mistakes are made in the future. This whole thing started because the company launched a logo without telling anyone so when it appeared online, fans and consumers were outraged and offended. Not to mention that the company had a reason for creating a new logo but it was never conveyed properly because of the way in which they approached the situation. It seemed, from a consumer point-of-view, that Gap didn’t even care enough to tell its loyal fans what they were planning or how their image was evolving and that gave off a sense of arrogance that did not sit well with the public. This is where the problem lies; many businesses don’t realize that the community they are building online is not just some outlet for promotions, it’s a fan base that deserves recognition and attention. There are ways to engage people and use their enthusiasm to your benefit, especially through social media platforms. The whole point of using social media is to interact and show some personality so why are companies like Gap not utilizing this fan base to their benefit? Hopefully after the dust settles Gap will take a long, hard, look at their strategy and realize that they have a few holes to patch up.
After such a massive public relations fiasco, it seems safe to assume that Gap will lie low for a while and allow the story to bury itself in the news headlines. After all this I can’t help but wonder, will a new Gap logo ever meet consumer approval?