14/10/10

By Claire West

Style conscious clothes retailer GAP withdrew its new logo yesterday — only one week after its launch!

“I can't think of a climb down this public and significant in the brand field since British Airways changed its tailfins back to Union Jack,” said Simon Middleton, the author of the business best seller ‘Build a Brand in 30 Days’.

Customers of the clothing giant had turned to social media sites to rubbish the new logo as soon as they saw it.

GAP said yesterday that the ‘outpouring of comments’ online had forced them to dump the logo.

“A logo isn’t the brand itself — that is the complete set of meanings people carry in their heads for a product or service — but it is the badge which triggers an emotional or memory response,” explained Mr Middleton, who has advised British Airways, Barclays, Aviva, Prêt A Manger and The Broads National Park on branding.

“The Nike swoosh is so strong that we don't need to see the name to have the meanings of Nike triggered. The shape of a Coke bottle is enough to represent that brand.”

“The existing GAP logo isn't the best in the world... and it probably does need developing. But the way GAP went about it was incredibly ill thought through and of a poor standard. The new (dumped) one wasn't really a logo at all,” he said.

Realising early last week that the new logo was bombing badly the brand went crowd-sourcing and asked their customers to submit their ideas for an alternative new logo.

“This was intended to look collaborative and customer-centric,” said Mr Middleton. “But it actually looked cheap and led to a bigger backlash, not least from the design community.

“They've had to withdraw the new logo and apologise for the crowd- sourcing, ending up looking like fools in the worst possible season of the year. Ouch!”