Gap recently changed its logo, but dumped it because of a consumer backlash. We have seen this song and dance before. Consumers are resistant to change. When familiarity breeds contempt, the heart always grows fonder.
Gap recently changed its logo, but then dumped it because of a consumer backlash.
We have seen this song and dance before. Consumers are resistant to change. When familiarity breeds contempt, the heart always grows fonder.
You have to admit, Gap’s label-switch was radical. The new logo featured a different typeface, all-caps gave way to regular print, and they changed the spelling of Gap to “Gap.”
Once the floodgates of negativity opened, the company decided to scrap the idea and return to its crummy old outdated logo.
I propose that this branding-botchery failed because the company went too far, but not far enough. It seemed like an attempt at inadvertent marketing psychology — the original plan backfires, then accidentally turns into gold.
The template for this was established in 1985, with the legendary New Coke fiasco.
There are subtle differences between what Coke did and what Gap tried. Gap’s case involves a logo, whereas New Coke was an attempt to change a soft-drink flavor. It would be like Gap changing its clothing fabric so it tasted like Banana Republic.
But the parallel remains. Someone tried to pull the shirt over our eyes.
Back when the New Coke backlash happened, my dad made a prophetic prediction.
“I bet they did it on purpose,” he said, shouting to me over the roar of our International Harvester 1086.?“Just watch. They’ll bring the old Coke and call it something like ‘Original Formula,’ they’ll have two brands and sell twice as much pop.”
Obviously, farmers should run soda companies.
Looking back, historians view the New Coke “mistake” as a stroke of genius, whether planned or not.
I’d take it one step further into conspiracy theory. I think when New Coke was created, executives thought it was a good move but feared it would flop, so Coke Classic became a secret backup plan. After the consumer outcry, Classic was unveiled. New Coke was eventually phased out, but the original formula was replaced with the new formula and sold with the Classic label.
The original flavor was then phased out. The product tasted like Pepsi, but still looked like Coke.
Company officials gambled that consumers would be satisfied because (1) they fought back and, by golly, they won! and (2) they would forget what it was they originally didn’t want to not have, even if it was the same thing.
That’s what the Gap should have done: unleash a new logo, revert to the old one, replace the original with the new one and pretend it looks the same.
Illogical? I disagree. I would tell you why, but I just spilled RC Cola all over my Wranglers.
Contact Dennis Volkert at email@example.com.