Posted 8 October 2010 at 11:59 PM | Comments (8)
It’s hard to believe that the same people who are behind the super-strong brand identities of Banana Republic and Old Navy are making such bad decisions for Gap. One, they scrapped a logo that was fine to begin with—it was clean, well-proportioned, and, perhaps most importantly, recognizable. Two, they replaced that logo with one that is not only badly designed but generic—a thousand other companies probably have a similar logo, and most of those companies probably repair computers, pack boxes or, who knows, push thumbtacks. Three, they immediately put that badly designed logo in effect and then asked consumers for their design ideas. Four, they… well, I’m not sure what four is, but considering the decisions they’ve made thus far, chances are, it’s coming.
I’ve always been loyal to Gap. But their flaky decision-making on something as critical as brand identity makes me question their entire business model. Yesterday, following the intense consumer backlash, the company stated that they’re “thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding,” but if they knew how incompetent this makes them look, I don’t think they’d be so thrilled.
Brand identity is not just about design. It starts with a design, and that design says something about who you are and distinguishes you from others, but as you build relationships the design becomes you. It’s how people recognize you. Over time, it’s why they trust you.
I bought a pair of your jeans and then cut, hemmed, and restyled them. My friends say they’re hideous now and were much more attractive before. Can I return them for a full refund?