Flap at the Gap

October 11, 2010 at 8:18 AM 1 comment

The fuss about the Gap’s new logo is interesting, but not for the reasons that most people are giving. The point is not that the logo uses Helvetica, or that it’s boring.

Here’s what’s really interesting:

1. That people really care about the logo. Customers feel their own relationship to certain brands as they never did before. A change in logo – a common occurrence that would have provoked little comment outside the marketing world once upon a time – now causes widespread feelings of, what… betrayal? Abandonment?

2. That the company cares enough to go into a dialog with customers about it, and is even entertaining alternatives.

“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,” the company said on its Facebook page late Wednesday. “We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”

Naturally, some people are noting that the Gap is soliciting free design work, but you’re bound to hear negative comments with any crowdsourcing effort. The fact is, the company can afford all the designers it needs. This is an attempt to make a connection with customers.

The old model – producing stuff and shoving it at customers – is giving way to a new one, in which companies are working in partnership with customers to create the way customers experience the brand.

UPDATE: Gap has decided to scrap the new logo and go back to their old one. Good for them, understanding the power of customer voice.

An abrupt reversal in the face of consumer antipathy might remind one of New Coke. But New Coke was a clear financial disaster. The Gap is reacting to an expression of opinion about their logo – what would clearly have been an internal matter at one time. Which means that, along with selling t-shirts, the Gap wants it known that they listen to their customers. This is a development worth following.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Alignment Challenge In Praise of Idle Hands

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Coffee nerves «  |  January 10, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    […] giving pronouncements on the effect it will have on the company. With the memory of the Gap’s faux pas still fresh, some people are concerned that the new logo, which drops the word […]


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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at www.fuseinsight.com


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters



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