Earlier this week clothes brand GAP announced it was changing its logo, and posted its new design online for the world to see.
No big deal right?
Wrong. The last week has seen major backlash from consumers on Twitter and the blogosphere, and GAP is now reverting back to its old design.
A GAP media release says:
“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.”
But would the logo change actually have affected GAP’s bottom line?
No – not according to a poll of 1,000 consumers by Adage, which found that 43 per cent of customers would still buy from GAP, despite its logo change, compared with 29 per cent who wouldn’t.
Realistically though I think the results would be even higher. Good logo or bad logo I don’t know a single woman who can resist a good pair of GAP jeans!
There has even been speculation about whether the whole thing was a PR stunt. The new logo wasn’t exactly very good, which added to the conjecture about its authenticity as a serious new design.
I’m not sure we’ll ever know the answer to that, but it did get me thinking.
If social media wasn’t around would there even have been a backlash?
No, probably not.
GAP would have slowly replaced its logo on products, marketing collateral and signage.
And that would have been that.
I expect some customers still would have complained – but, apologies for the cliché, you can’t please everyone.
I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been placards and protests – the offline equivalent of this week’s online uproar.
And perhaps GAP wouldn’t have backtracked and thrown away so quickly, the (probable) thousands of dollars it paid a design company to rebrand it (although the logo looks like it’s drawn on Paint, so maybe closer to $50!).
Many critics are now saying that GAP should have consulted its audience first. And I agree – that’s a fundamental rule of marketing (think old school focus groups).
But the problem is, with social media being the way it is now with millions of users and thousands of channels, you would have to consult the whole world.
The phrase ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ comes to mind. Opening up its design to its entire customer base would have meant a new design would never have materialised.
In my own humble opinion – it wasn’t the fact that GAP changed its design that caused such a furore. It’s that it changed it to such a bad one!