A GAP Logo Analysis

If you haven't heard by now, the GAP has rolled out a new logo to replace the old logo we know and love as First in our Mind when we think of the GAP. You be the judge.

New GAP LogoOld GAP Logo

AdAge has great coverage on the rollout of the logo, the public reaction and what GAP spokeswoman Louise Callagy has to say about all of this. The articles are well worth reading (especially the comments). But what resonates with us from the article is this statement:

"Ms. Callagy said the retailer has been surprised by the response to the new logo, which was received well internally."

Received well internally.
Now, if you're new to the GutCheck blog we're fans of encouraging folks to get in front of their target customers, BEFORE, something like this happens. It is also not lost on me, nor many of the readers of AdAge, that this similar type of change occurred with Tropicana not to long ago. What was learned from that experience?

Lots of things sound great in an echo chamber, but it's testing the waters outside of that echo chamber where the real benefit lies. If this is testing the waters, the GAP has certainly made a splash. I'm not sure where the GAP is in the process of updating their external signage and materials, but it's a good bet that it's not going to be cheap; and apparently it is not going to be well received by the customers.Getting a

GutCheck

Consistent with our approach, I did a GutCheck on the logo change. Believe it or not, there is still a large amount of the population unaware of the logo change. I created an initial screen to find respondents aware of the GAP, but who had not seen the new logo. I initially chatted with a few infrequent shoppers (3 visits or less in a year) of the GAP, who didn't like the new logo. A sampling of their gut reactions to seeing the new logo:

"The new one is bland. I like the blue background on the old one."

"I don't know. It's kind of high-tech. It just reminds me of a logo for web technology."

I changed my target customer screening criteria to look for those that shopped more frequently at the GAP in a year. My responses from this cohort were more of a mixed bag.

"It's cool, kind of sleek, and reminds me of a Droid app, kind of. The logo has more of a 22nd Century feel about it, while the older logo seemed to celebrate more bygone times. It reminds me of a Droid app b/c it would make an excellent addition, for routing shoppers directly to Gap promos and such. Innovative."

"o.k., I like the old one better. what is the purpose of the blue square in the new one? the old one looks traditional."

"i think its cheap looking and not original. The old logo kind of looked cheap as well. There was nothing about the old one or the new one that stands out. It looks like it was created within 5 min on the computer."

"I like the old one better this looks like something for a tech company. its (the older one) more classy."

The GutCheck research indicated that the new logo didn't impact the target customers propensity to increase their shopping behavior at the GAP. Though when asked why the GAP would have changed their logo, a few indicated it's a move to gain interest of a different audience:

"because they're net sales aren't doing well and they've been losing market share. They're trying to recapture the market while breaking into a younger demographic."

"maybe to reach a different target group"

Now I don't know where the GAP is going with all this…maybe they do know or thought they did. It's clear that the vocal external audience isn't happy with the path they are going down. More feedback from an external audience may have gone a long way.

You can't talk about GAP without thinking of those commercials:

Also, a quick hat tip to @denverdahl for tweeting this, and thus getting my attention to the change.

How do you or your organization handle brand change planning? Are you getting outside customer feedback?