Is this clever crowdsourcing or just a genuine brand gaff?

Call me a cynic but I’ve been reading the GAP logo story with increasing disbelief. Did a global brand like Gap (who’s distinctive logo encapsulates so much of not only its brand value but also clothing designs) seriously approve a new logo more at home on a 1980s software packaging than a trademark sweatshirt? Should I honestly believe that after spending millions on a redesign, Gap is backing down because 2,000 people complained on Facebook?

Rebrand U-turn: Deliberate ploy?

Is this “gaff” no more than a clever way to generate coverage and a reverse crowdsourcing opportunity? I doubt very much that “Gap launches online consumer initiative to help redesign the logo” would have had half as much coverage and debate (as the BBC put it) “Gap scraps new logo after online outcry”.

Whatever the case, Mark Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, is the hero of the day, revealing that the company has been “listening” and “watching” and that the much-loved original logo will be reinstated as customers “always come first”. Hurrah!

Power to the consumer; or brands getting clever about headline-grabbing crowdsourcing? At best, Gap needs some immediate social media and communications advice; at worst and if the latter is true, it may have adversely damaged relationships with some of its most vocal customers. Time will tell.

Stephanie MacLeod, Kaizo



Marketing’s HR link

Marketing Week

Your cover story on how marketers can use their skills in other areas (“Beyond the boardroom walls”, MW 30 September) should be required reading for anyone who still thinks marketing is the fluffy posters and promotions department.


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