So I’m in Art Direction 2 (my first class of the day) and there is a sudden uproar over The Gap’s logo incident. I’m delightfully indifferent. To me, The Gap is just a brand and the logo is just a logo. Last night I was watching The Nightly News with Brian Williams and he spoke about some of the Ad Age polling results in regards to the issue.
“Louise Callagy, a Gap spokeswoman, told Ad Age that the retailer decided it would solicit additional ideas, given the largely negative response to the new logo. “It’s impressive, the passionate outpouring from customers,” Ms. Callagy said. “We’re ready to open it up, take the feedback on board and work together.”
Maybe Gap should have done that from the very beginning. More than half of consumers in the Ipsos Observer poll said they expect companies to ask for the public’s input before making a major change to its logo, packaging or product. Thirty-six percent said they didn’t expect that, while 12% weren’t sure.”
We had an ongoing discussion about this exact scenario in Strategy and Positioning last semester. Instead of The Gap, the brand was Coke. (New) Coke changed the flavor of it’s drink and the size of its bottle; people complained up a storm and then Coke changed it back claiming they didn’t know people cared so much. In Persuasive Writing, we learned about the pitfalls of “commitment and consistency.” We have to be willing to admit when something isn’t working out. If we wait too long to come to terms with a problem, the problem will come to terms with us. If it’s not working out early on, it probably won’t work out later. Have you ever failed a class you should have dropped?
“All told, just 17% of consumers were even aware Gap had changed its logo — some 80% said they had no idea the logo had changed (the remaining 3% said they didn’t know what Gap was). Given that, it seems Gap may have had a knee-jerk reaction…”
The Gap could have tried to wait it out, but instead it switched the logo back immediately. The blogosphere is much like politics in that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A minority of mob style complainers act as proxy to majority. The most passionate criticism came from the creative fields. Despite most people not knowing about the switch, the creative community (gatekeepers in this case…) were given the benefit of the doubt. It’s just like when a fringe candidate runs an elitist vs populist campaign. The elitists don’t think the populists can make an informed opinion.
Helvetica? Wasn’t she on Lord of the Rings?