Responding to the immediate public outcry on Facebook and Twitter after its new logo was quietly introduced on its website last week, Gap Inc. has announced on its Facebook page that it's scrapping the new logo and keeping its classic navy blue box version (with its traditional red version for its seasonal Holiday marketing) ... for the time being.
Although its website tonight still shows the old logo, Gap president Marka Hansen assured fans the new logo has been thrown out, and was an ill-conceived rollout (despite the creativity it unleashed, including two impromptu Gap logo contests, and a trio of tongue-in-cheek Twitter feeds in @gaplogo, @oldgaplogo and @newgaplogo).
Hansen's statement expressed regret at the anger the rebranded logo elicited in loyalists and design critics (pro or amateur), in what rapidly turned into one of the biggest marketing-triggered outcries in recent history.
"We’ve learned a lot in this process," Hansen stated. "And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing. There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way."
Translation: You can bet Gap Inc. has retained a new social media agency to manage the Gap brand's expectations, undo any damage and steer the process going forward.
While it's still hard to believe the brand's owners really intended this as a crowdsourcing effort in the first place, it will be interesting to see how the fashion retailer eventually, inevitably, changes its logo — which it clearly feels must be modernized in this app-driven digital world — when it makes another run at updating the mark.
Hansen's statement tonight, which follows on her outreach to incensed consumers via the Huffington Post, acknowledges that at least customers cared enough to fight for 'their' vision of the Gap brand, remarking on "just how much energy there is around our brand." In fact, the fracas put Gap back in the news and forced people to re-engage with the brand, and likely didn't lose it any customers.
Her full statement:
"Since we rolled out an updated version of our logo last week on our website, we’ve seen an outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.
“Last week, we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion. Ultimately, we’ve learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we’ve made the decision not to use the new logo on gap.com any further.
“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.
“In the meantime, the website will go back to our iconic blue box logo and, for Holiday, we’ll turn our blue box red for our seasonal campaign.
“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.
“There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way."
Feel free to post your thoughts below, or join our debate on the subject.