Listen to the Voice of the Market – not a bunch of designers!

Gap should have listened to the Voice of the Market – not a bunch of designers!

 

A lot of media about the Gap changing its logo. “Responding to the immediate public outcry on Facebook and Twitter after its new logo was quietly introduced on its website last week, Gap Inc. has announced on its Facebook page that it’s scrapping the new logo and keeping its classic navy blue box version (with its traditional red version for its seasonal Holiday marketing) … for the time being.   ….Gap president Marka Hansen assured fans the new logo has been thrown out, and was an ill-conceived rollout (despite the creativity it unleashed, including two impromptu Gap logo contests, and a trio of tongue-in-cheek Twitter feeds in @gaplogo, @oldgaplogo and @newgaplogo).

 

Hansen’s statement expressed regret at the anger the rebranded logo elicited in loyalists and design critics (pro or amateur), in what rapidly turned into one of the biggest marketing-triggered outcries in recent history.

 

“We’ve learned a lot in this process,” Hansen stated. “And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing. There may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way.”

 

Hansen just doesn’t really get it.  First – Why change a recognisable and working logo at all?  If they have problems elsewhere (and they seem to) doing this only attracts unwanted  attention.

 

Second, if the urge to change the logo is too strong to resist – only listen to your customers.  Who cares what the general public think?  And more importantly – who cares about what a bunch of designers or would be designers think?  I always love reading the comments of designers and would be designers when something new comes along. Comments like “I think it is boring”  “It is not exciting” “Tell me who did this so I can mock them”  “wearisome” I can honestly say that I would NEVER use Helvetica for a logo.  We use it for boring stuff, like phone numbers and addresses on business cards and legal forms, simply because of it’s legibility when printed in multiple sizes.”  Etc etc

 

Design is subjective and fashion following.  So many companies spend big bucks on physical reimaging – when there was no need – and then have to explain what the new logo means/represents.

 

If the thing does it main job – its recognisable who it is;  can be identified at a distance for signage;  Can be read in tiny print;  can be done in black and white – I say who cares (especially customers) what the arty designers and would be designers think?

There are useful guides to what a logo should do. Logos are not meant primarily to inspire designers or win design awards – really!

See more in the MAANZ eNewsletter MExtra eg. The Value of a Logo and Better logos in the articles section.  MExtra is free!  http://www.marketing.org.au

Dr. Brian Monger

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