The Gap Controversy


Last week Gap decided without warning to change the logo on their website. Naturally, fans were not too happy with this decision as they did not understand the reason or cause for such change. Tony Spaeth, president of Identityworks, a consulting firm in Rye, N.Y. said, “The company got itself into a jam by putting out the new logo without explaining the change.” Someone had the ‘brilliant’ idea to change the logo so that it would coincide with Gap’s new image. However, after the almost instant backlash Gap decided that this idea wasn’t so brilliant after all, and decided to change the logo back to its original design.
My question however, is would fans really have been less outraged if Gap had explained the change to them beforehand? I for one am attached to certain logos for particular brands, and even though Gap is not one of them, I understand customer concern. One fan responded to the change back to the original logo by saying, “Thanks for listening. The blue box logo is truly classic. We love it as it is.” For that reason alone I think that changing the logo would upset many long time fans of the brand.
Take also for example when Tropicana decided to change their logo last year in February. They wanted to go with a new clean look to emphasize the all-natural, fresh squeezed juice. Many loyal Tropicana fans were upset by the brand’s redesigned logo – including myself! It featured a glass of orange juice against a white backdrop, instead of the familiar orange with a straw poking out the side. I for one thought that it lost its desirability. There was something about the image of that straw in the orange with the bit of juice dripping down that just made me go “mmm”. When the logo changed I was not only confused, but I didn’t have the same desire to buy the brand.


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