The Gap Surrenders: Should Failing Mean Giving In?
Ok, I know The Gap logo fiasco has been written about to no end, but let's stop talking about the ill-designed logo and its succeeding ill-advised PR debacle and focus on the principle behind it all.
The Gap surrendered, simply put. They met resistance -- though admittedly in the form of a strong front of marketing and graphic design experts -- and they folded. But was it the right call? Many others are now questioning if the consumer (the purchaser of Gap's merchandise) would have cared at all. If, in fact, the logo would have made any impact on the purchase decision-making process.
Despite this, the logo was indeed a failure. "The iconic blue box logo," as president Marka Hansen called it after its reinstatement, would by no means be easy to successfully replace or replicate. And what I love most is that Hansen is quoted as calling the logo "iconic" -- the state of being iconical should not be taken lightly, marketers! Nor should it be quickly dumped for a clunky clone of much lesser value.
The real crux of the matter lies with those behind the scenes, making the decisions. Such as deciding to redesign the logo in the first place -- was it really an attempt to reinvent The Gap as a more contemporary clothing powerhouse and thereby miraculously boost sales? Or how about deciding to approve and launch the new logo despite its quite evidently poor design. Or -- and here's the rub -- deciding to revert after some backlash and a few choice debasing words regarding the otherwise "iconic" brand.
What all these malnourished decisions summate to is perhaps an underlying chaos in the ranks of The Gap. A set of poor choices that has coloured The Gap perhaps a little less blue and a whole lot more yellow.
Failing is only ideal for an organization like The Gap when it never happens. Especially when it comes to something so simple, so minor as a logo, it shouldn't be difficult at all, right? But then again, we marketers know that logos are never minor, never simple, are they?
So, what do you think, should failing mean giving in?