If there is one place all brands know to turn when the time comes to show some humility, contrition and beg for understanding, it’s the Huffington Post. Wait, what?[more]
After two days of Gapocalypse (Gapgate?), the brand is finally speaking out. In what seems like the most rational branding move of Gap’s latest branding moves, Gap President Marka Hansen took to The Huffington Post in a column meant to explain the logo change. Hansen writes:
“The natural step for us on this journey is to see how our logo – one that we’ve had for more than 20 years – should evolve. Our brand and our clothes are changing and rethinking our logo is part of aligning with that. We want our customers to take notice of Gap and see what it stands for today.”
OK. Go on.
“…we plan to ask people to share their designs with us as well. We welcome the participation we’ve seen so far. We’ll explain specifics on how everyone can share designs in a few days. Thank you to everyone who has already shared feedback. I’m excited about continuing the conversation and believe passionately in where we’re taking our brand.”
In the middle there somewhere, Hansen repeats what we can only imagine are the selling points Gap got suckered with by its agency:
“We chose this design as it’s more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.”
By going on the crowded brothel of innuendo and misinformation that is HuffPo, Gap is now sharing marketing and promotional strategies with quack doctors looking to sell the sure-fire longevity cure and self-promoting celebrities posing as news items (PHOTOS).
Corporate communications VP Bill Chandler also tells Fast Company‘s Co.Design blog that “Gap stands by the logo they’ve created, they also want it to signify that the company itself is changing — and that should come with input from consumers.” It’s a brilliant PR move; once something blows up, invite the public to help you make it better with their suggestions. It’s a win-win!
Chandler implies that the logo was floated on Gap’s website as a catalyst for a public debate (in which case, why not announce a contest and formally invite public submissions in a ‘Redesign Our Logo!’ competition?):
They debuted the logo “without much fanfare” to begin the conversation, says Chandler, who also notes… that the use of Helvetica was not new — they’ve been incorporating it into their advertising and some retail stores for the past year. It’s also not a stab at going retro, says Chandler. “We believe this is a more contemporary, modern expression,” he says. “The only nod to the past is that there’s still a blue box, but it looks forward.”
Honestly, we’re beginning to feel a little sorry for the Gap in the wake of the free-for-all fallout. Let’s start looking at the positive. What is Gap’s next best move? Pretend it never happened is starting to look pretty good.