Well, that just takes the cake. The Gap announced it is going back to its old logo after a wellspring of outrage emerged from its most loyal customers, another in a long list of mistakes Gap concerning its new logo.
As I said yesterday, The Gap should stay with its new logo because a logo is simply a visual representation of that brand and not the brand itself. If The Gap teaches target audiences what the new brand means, the logo will be accepted. (It would help, of course, if the new logo had any meaning.)
But I suspect the mistakes Gap made go further than that. It simply didn’t understand the belief systems of its target audience – both of current customers and those it is trying to attract. If it had understood what exists in their loyal customers’ hearts – with us, that understanding comes from a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, including examining the precepts of all their audiences.
To me, it sounds like The Gap went ahead with this strictly from a design perspective, looking only to update its look. That’s all fine, well and good, but it’s a warning to other brands that the difficult strategic work must be done ahead of time, and done right.
Opportunity in change is where success lives. But without understanding what drives audiences and aligning even the simplest creative executions with them, you end up where The Gap is today. Wondering what it should have done and despondent over how much money it wasted. Time for The Gap to do it differently.