I can’t help myself but to comment again on the new Gap logo. Now that the company has responded to the negative public outcry, I must follow up.
They have released some statements that caught my attention.
First they said they have been working on this rebrand for two years. Wow, really I find that really hard to believe. They missed the mark in so many ways, how could that have happened with a two-years or discovery and development?
Second, they said the new logo was created to “connect with their millennial target market.” Again I find that to be a strange comment because they clearly did not “connect with their millennial target market.”
So I decided to do some research myself and here is what I found, in about 10 minutes.
- I did a two second Google search and found this article on USA Today.com from earlier this year. It had some great insight on this generation. Based on what I read, if I were designing this logo I would have created something a bit more sophisticated instead of dumbing it down as they have. This was just one of many articles about the Millennial generation.
- Then I conducted a quick focus group with my son and a group of his friends, who are Millennials. They were, conveniently for me, hanging out and eating everything at my house. I showed them the logo and asked them “what does this logo say to you?” They had various reactions, none of which were good. They all said that the logo looked like “they sell boring clothes.” Most of them said they have never spent any of their “own” money in a Gap store.
- That comment made me pick up the phone and call a friend of mine who is the manager at a very large local mall. She said that their findings show that right now teens and young 20’s are the biggest spenders because they have money and no bills. Hmmm.
I’m not trying to make light of the discovery process. I know that if I were the one to do the rebrand I would dig deeper than just the three things I mentioned above. However, I do want to point out that I gained some valuable information from doing some simple research. Maybe they should have dug a little deeper.
So either Gap, Inc. is totally off on who their target market is, or they don’t understand the market they want to attract. Or both. It seems to me that they have completely lost touch of who they are and who their market is.
The last thing I will comment on is their invitation for a crowd-sourcing project. A representative was quoted saying “We love our version, but we’d like to… see other ideas.” There are two-things wrong with that statement. “We love,” tells me that this brand was created with an internal mindset. Yes, as a company you want to like your logo and be proud to promote it. It does make marketing a lot easier. However, you don’t start there, you end there. If you are a consumer products company you have to start with an external mindset. What does our market want, how do they feel, what emotion do we want them to feel when they interact with our brand? Gap has it all backwards.
The second thing wrong with their statement is the “invitation for a crowd-sourcing project” Are they aware that crowd-sourcing is the same thing as asking a professional to do spec work? This is a big no no as any professional designer knows. In case the folks at Gap don’t know what that means here is AIGA’s position on spec work. Basically they paid big money for a logo that doesn’t work, and now they are looking to the design community to bail them out, for free. Maybe they’ll give out some free chino’s if they like what you do. The design community should stand together and not participate. It’s an insult. Shame on Gap, Inc.
All of this has been disappointing and amusing all at the same time. I’ll be waiting to hear what they have to say next.