GAP: a logo you’ve seen on at least one sweatshirt…and why you won’t stop seeing it

When a company has such an iconic brand, and they decide to change that brand, is that good or bad? Perhaps the change comes with an evolution in product and customer base. As we all know, GAP decided to change its logo…and then quickly changed it back.

But there had to be a reason for GAP to take this step in the first place. According to statements from the company, the intent was to bring GAP into the modern age.

The new logo that couldn't

Guess what happened? The modern age didn’t like it.

The company wanted to change its logo based on customer feedback, a hugely important factor in retail today, specifically because customer feedback is so openly and readily shared online – where lots of the retail biz now does its biz. So customers responded on the very networks (Facebook, Twitter) GAP used to solicit feedback about a new logo. GAP quickly realized through those networks that customers wanted to old logo back.

“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way,” Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, said in a statement.

If anything good came out of this it’s how important a simple thing like a logo can be to a loyal customer following. If there’s need for a change in something as significant as your logo – especially when your logo has been seen on one in every three college students’ hoodies (including Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network) – there better be a darn good reason for it. Otherwise, with the unbelievable simplicity of the Internet, customers will chew you out relentlessly.

If you ask me the old logo was better aesthetically, and the company would be hard pressed to top the mileage that logo has collected as it travels around the world, striped across the chests of students, travelers and exercisers alike.

In the end, the company made the right choice to go back. More importantly, all of a sudden people are talking about the GAP again. Mistake intended or unintended, GAP’s got some press now, and you know what they say about press…

It’s never bad.