Gap was established in 1969 by two fashion gurus Donald and Doris Fisher. Based in San Francisco, California, it is one of the most famous clothing and accessories retailers in the world. The company owns classic brand names such as Athleta, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime.
GAP LOGO FIASCO
The Gap logo was the center of a controversy in October 2010, as the debut of the new logo came under fire by the users of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. The company defended the new Gap logo with the use of the word “Gap” on a blue gradient square in the top right corner of a white background. The use of Helvetica font face in the new Gap logo also came under heavy criticism. Most logo designers are of the view that Helvetica is an overused and one of the most generic logo font in the world of design.
The company, despite initial protests, went on to unveil the new Gap logo on October 4th, 2010 GAP on their official website. Spokesperson Louise Callagy insisted the logo reflected the company’s transition from “a classic, American brand to modern, sexy & cool fashion label.” The stream of backlash continued in the social media especially from Twitter users who posted their feeds and vented their anger.
Overwhelmed by the response and attention by the public, Gap posted a message on its Facebook page on October 6th, 2010 announcing that “this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding.” The company also announced a logo design competition for the new Gap logo and called the initiative as crowd-sourcing project. As the project started to gather momentum, Louise Callagy pulled the plug when he appeared on Bloomberg television and announced the company is reverting back to the iconic Blue logo with immediate effect.
MARKETING LESSONS LEARNED
While the Gap fashionistas celebrated the decision, others questioned whether it was a mere publicity stunt to spark a debate and enjoy publicity. Gap’s financial records suggest the company’s sales were slumping in the past 6 months across North America and needed a boost.
Whatever the motive, Gap got a bit of drubbing as well as publicity that they badly needed. Publicists believe the logo change campaign was a litmus test of the Gap clothing customers and fans who showed their loyalty and sense of association by voicing their concerns with the brand logo. The company’s decision to revert back to its original logo and paying heed to the customers’ opinions has increased the popularity of Gap to a considerable level.