A brand is not a logo.

16 Oct

This is the major shift in advertising to accurately create a brand. I believe that a well-established brand is the mark for a successful company. That being said, Gap recently changed their logo, and change it back. This received a less than favorable response from the public, and Gap returned back to the original logo.

So, why the change? Was there a reason behind the change in typeface and placement of navy blue square? Here is what Marka Hansen, president of Gap brand North America said:

“Last week, we moved to address the feedback and began exploring how we could tap into all of the passion.Ultimately, we’ve learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we’ve made the decision not to use the new logo on gap.com any further. At Gap brand, our customers have always come first. We’ve been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back. So we’ve made the decision to do just that – we will bring it back across all channels.”

Passionate about a blue box? I doubt most Gap customers are passionate about the blue box, but what it symbolizes. It was the identity of an iconic brand that gave no reason for change. Damien Newman, from Imprint, says that the sudden logo change exemplifies that Gap simply does not know who they are. There was no reason or story for the logo change.

The reason Hansen states in a Huffington Post article is basically that it is old and time for a change.

“The natural step for us on this journey is to see how our logo – one that we’ve had for more than 20 years – should evolve. Our brand and our clothes are changing and rethinking our logo is part of aligning with that.We want our customers to take notice of Gap and see what it stands for today.We chose this design as it’s more contemporary and current. It honors our heritage through the blue box while still taking it forward.”

What Damien Newman of Imprint says is exactly true; Gap missed an opportunity to tell us about the brand and what it stands for. I also agree with Newman in that the logo looks like an American Apparel logo, not Gap. It is apparent to anyone who is familiar with the brand that the logo is not representing the identity of the brand; which is both simple and classic.

Yes, as Hansen states, the clothing and the brand has evolved since 1969. Any brand selling products from toasters to t-shirts evolves over time. But by changing the identity of the brand with no reason, it is ignoring what loyal customers identified with in the first place. Gap makes an average 3.8 billion in sales a year, and I don’t think this will drastically decrease, but Gap needs to use this failure to determine who they are.


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