This week, retail clothing store Gap launched a new logo in an attempt to make the brand more modern. Instead, a cry of “are you kidding?” was heard around the world as people labeled the new logo as something that could be done by anyone with access to Microsoft Word, the Helvetica font, and the ability to create gradient shading in a square. A fake @Gaplogo Twitter account opened, a Gap meme spread across the social Web, and a site popped up where you can “Crap Logo Yourself” similar to the popular “Elf Yourself” site that is so popular during the holidays.
Suffice it to say, the Gap logo became a thorn in the side of Gap’s button-flies. You can see what all the fuss is about in the image below.
Gap decided to leverage the online conversation and the tools of the social Web to immediately jump into the growing conversation. Quickly, Gap sent a message through its Facebook page to its hundreds of thousands of followers announcing the company’s desire to let consumers have a say in the new Gap logo. A contest was also launched asking the online audience to provide their own Gap logos for consideration, which the company is referring to as a “crowd sourcing project.” Frankly, that name phrase leaves a lot to be desired and further highlights how far Gap is from its actual consumer base, but that’s another story entirely.
Today, the Gap logo debate is in full swing as far as consumers are concerned, but there is also a marketing and branding debate. One side believes that Gap’s immediate response and attempt to bring consumers into the actual logo design process in an entertaining way via the social Web is brilliant. the other side believes that Gap is simply opening a can of worms even wider and would have been better served to ignore the argument and let it fade away.
Which side of the argument are you on as a marketer/branding professional? Should Gap have reacted to such a great extent or should Gap have let the conversation die and move on? There is something to be said for the free publicity Gap is generating from this debate, but it’s also reminiscent of the new Tropicana packaging debate in 2009 when Tropicana eventually decided to trash its sleek (and boring) new packaging (and lose quite a bit of money to do so) after consumers complained loudly about it via the social Web. What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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