While not causing quite as big of a ruckus as Coke did with New Coke in the 80’s, The Gap did start a bit of drama with Facebook and Twitter users by abruptly changing its traditional blue box logo last week.
Their intention was to spruce up the old design to make it more contemporary. The negative feedback over the new Gap logo was swift and furious. (The new Gap logo was pretty lame for a company that has excelled in the TV commercial arena.)
Succumbing to the pressure of the negative responses, Gap, Inc. “made the decision not to use the new logo on gap.com any further.”
The company also stated, “At Gap brand, our customers have always come first. We’ve been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back. So we’ve made the decision to do just that – we will bring it back across all channels.”
Earlier in the week they floated out a plan to allow customers to design the new logo (basically ‘put up or shut up’), but have since rescinded that offer.
The traditional blue box we all know and love is back (except “for Holiday, we’ll turn our blue box red for our seasonal campaign”).
Gap, Inc. is learning a hard lesson about product branding in the age of social media. Stating, “We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community.”
Many companies are trying to capitalize on the marketing opportunities that social media presents. However, the rules are still being defined and everyone seems to be learning as they go.
When The Gap first opened its doors, if someone hated the logo, they would have to go through the effort of writing a letter or just complain to a presumably disinterested or un-empowered-to-change-the-logo salesperson. Now anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account can make their opinions publicly known in a matter of seconds. (As well as enlist all of their friends to join them).
Whether The Gap changes their logo or not is not earth-shattering news. Nor would it stop me from buying a nice pair of khakis and a sweater. However, this incident is an excellent example of dealing with social media and marketing in today’s day and age.
To sum it up, Gap Inc. states, “There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way. “
Gap Inc. Press Release