Gap logo: brand suicide or cunning publicity stunt?

Gap logo

After ‘people power’ shot down a new Gap logo, has the brand become a laughing stock?

BY Natalie Davies LAST UPDATED AT 22:01 ON Tue 12 Oct 2010

After a week of will-they-won't-they speculation the clothing company Gap have announced they are abandoning a controversial new logo after it met with considerable abuse from web users.

"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," said Marka Hansen, head of the Gap brand in North America.

"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."

Bizarrely, the company which has operated with the same navy blue square and white lettering for 20 years, decided to change the logo on their website on a whim.

So why would a company with a brand rated as the 84th most valuable in the world decide to take a gamble on a new look logo without any giving any notice to their customers?

Word in the blogging community is that the whole scheme is a ruse to generate publicity.

"The more I look into this story, the more it reeks of a PR stunt. Scrap a logo, replace it with something that looks like it was knocked up by a junior web designer, wait for the vitriol, get publicity," said Craig Grannell, a design, technology and gaming blogger.

But while the fashion store may have succeeded in gaining Google hits and column inches, brand experts are quick to condemn the stunt as degrading and ultimately harmful to their reputation.

"This move is beyond daft and will leave the brand a laughing stock for considerable time to come," says Abe Sauer of BrandChannel. · 

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