Hopefully after last week’s post, you have a better grasp on the concept of intentional branding. You now see how, with planning and purpose, a brand can work from basic concepts like a deceptively simple logo and work outward until it permeates every aspect of your brand. And you can also see that branding intentionally can make you recognizable from head to toe, near or far, even if you’re standing in a crowd of similar colleagues. That’s some pretty unbreakable branding. Almost like a Brand of Steel you might say.
I don’t know about you, but I can also learn an awful lot from a bad example. That’s what we’re going to take a look at today: someone else’s bad strategy and the lessons we can learn from it.
Did you guys know that Gap clothing stores changed their logo back in 2010? Most of you probably don’t, and that’s okay. You see, their refreshed logo lasted a total of eight days.
Not only did the new logo last a short time, but Gap only rolled it out on their website. Not in any of their hundreds of retail locations. Not in a national campaign that connected this new look to a new line of clothing or view on their business.
Needless to say, it did not go well.
Gap has been hurting. They’ve closed a lot of stores and haven’t shown growth in several years. The fall of the shopping mall has been hitting them hard and continues to do so. They needed a fresh crop of people to discover their brand of affordable, reasonably fashionable, and ultimately forgettable clothes.
I’m going to make some guesses here since Gap and their design firm didn’t invite me to the meetings that led to the new logo. They are educated guesses, but I’m owning my speculation.
They wanted Millennials. They decided to get them with an ironically overused font and a gradient on the one thing that harkened back to their old, recognized, and (as it turned out to everyone’s surprise including Gap’s) well-loved brand.
There weren’t a lot of Millennials using Gap’s website where the new logo rolled out. This is because Millennials don’t hang out in the malls that have been Gap’s bread and butter. Therefore, their target audience had no idea who Gap was in the first place and simply would not be looking at their website.
However, the people who have been hanging out in malls for the last twenty years and do know who Gap is were looking at the website. They did not like the changes they saw there. They were also extremely vocal about it.
The Gap took it back. Rolled their website back as fast as they could and swore they’d never use the new logo anywhere else ever again. Then they asked for those who loved their brand to submit their own ideas for a new look.
Can you already see how poor strategy killed this rebranding even before it entered the world?
Did I miss anything? Do you feel there are lessons in branding that we should discuss? Or perhaps the lessons I pulled out need more clarification. The big-picture strategic thinking is instrumental to building that branding lens. But it’s a process and will take time and we’re happy to help you in every way we can. So let me know in the comments.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook