Gap is the "Social Media Winner of the Week"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

n case you missed it, over the past week or so, Gap decided to change their corporate logo, then got pressured (largely via social media channels) to change it back. My initial reaction on seeing this was to assume that they planned it this way from the beginning, but I don’t have any contacts in the “Gap circle of trust” to know for sure.  Gap has been around a little longer on the earth than I have, and my cursory research didn’t reveal whether their iconic blue box logo had been around since they were founded in 1969, but I know that they’ve had the same logo at least since the 80′s, when I used to shop there during high school.

So, one of two things happened here, and I see them as mutually exclusive:


1. In a stroke of business branding genius, Gap knew that their new logo would fail miserably and cause a public outcry, at which point they could save the day by reverting back to the original, comfortable logo we’ve all known for years,  OR…

2. Gap simply messed up, but they were paying attention and responded swiftly to the unhappy consumer audience.


Frankly, it doesn’t matter which of these comprises the truth. 

Either way, Gap wins.

Why is that, exactly?

Well, do you remember the last time you talked about Gap with your friends before this incident?  Or the last time Gap made headline news?  Yeah, me neither.  In fact, this could be the first time in their 41-year history that they did something worth talking about.  I applaud them for this move (and for the change back, because the new logo really did kinda stink), since they did something buzzworthy.  How often do you see large corporations making bold moves?  Every once in awhile, you might see a risque GoDaddy commercial, but, by and large, companies tend to play it safe.

The bottom line question: Will this sell more clothing for Gap?  My guess is that it will, simply because they managed to get top-of-mind awareness this week, even among people who were mocking them.  This much exposure can’t ever hurt a brand, and I bet Gap’s holiday earnings are better than expected.

So, whether it was accidental (a la New Coke) or intentional, congratulations to the Gap executives.  I bet this is one risk that will pay off for them.

P.S.  I considered posting the new logo, then thought better of it.  It’s ugly, in my humble opinion.


Originally posted at: 210 Consulting

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Christian Heide 10/12/2010 05:11 PM
  2. Mott Marvin Kornicki 10/14/2010 09:41 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired


The whole Dude thing is memorable.

And cool.

Way to go


Oct 12, 2010 09:29 PM #47
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Very interesting perspective.  I hadn't thought about them doing it on purpose.  But, you're right - either way, they win.  A very newsworthy story and very cool how it transpired.

Oct 12, 2010 11:40 PM #48
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Now, I'm so curious about this.  I want to try to find out if they took any other actions that would have cost money (e.g. making signs, etc).  I've been involved in many logo redesigns in my previous career (brand marketing) so I know there is a lot involved.

Oct 12, 2010 11:44 PM #49
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

It was a brillant move if you ask me.  How better to get feedback in a social media intensive world than to make one small change and see what happens.  You get tongues wagging (good and bad) and you get mounds of free publicity right before the holiday shopping season.  I give them an A+.

Oct 13, 2010 12:30 AM #50
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Featured @ Club Chaos

Oct 13, 2010 12:58 AM #51
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

I think it was intentional as well. Maybe their new logo should have been:


Oct 13, 2010 02:14 AM #52
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.
Jason, as long as you get some attention in the possitve light, it is hard to go wrong!
Oct 13, 2010 02:18 AM #53
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


I too wondered about how serious the Gap was when I heard about all this. Certainly got some buzz!

Oct 13, 2010 02:20 AM #54
Manuel Monserrate
Raleigh, NC

Between the 'gap logo' twitter account, and the make your own gap logo website, I would say it was a major win for Gap.  Too many intelligent  well paid people and too much money involved for this to be an 'accident'.

Oct 13, 2010 04:35 AM #55
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jason, it was a great way to test the water at a minimal cost. A lot of publicity that worked.

Oct 13, 2010 04:39 AM #56
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I did now know this and find it very interesting. I've been reading a lot about branding and brand lately, so this post is very timely.

Oct 13, 2010 05:23 AM #57
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Debbie - Based on what I read in a couple of places, the logo was only rolled out on their website (i.e. no signs, bags, stores, etc.). 

Oct 13, 2010 05:47 AM #58
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jason, I'm sure they are happy to get the additional exposure that you and others like you are giving.

Oct 13, 2010 06:05 AM #59
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

I did not like the new logo either and since it was so uninteresting I am inclined to believe you are right that this might have been just a ploy. 

Oct 13, 2010 06:21 AM #60
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Jason, you know this was all by design, as the old saying goes, "there is no bad publicity" they knew what they were doing all along...

Oct 13, 2010 07:39 AM #61
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Although I didnt hear about the logo change (which Im sure is because my Twitter account is locked). You are so right that they win either way... whether it was a genius thought to change it...or they really did mess up. Either way, they were the talk around the net.

Oct 13, 2010 10:43 AM #62
Lisa Ludlow Archer
Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area - Waxhaw, NC

Jason my friend,

I agree that it is number 1. It was genius either way. Great post.


Oct 14, 2010 09:48 AM #63
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

I think I'm leaning with towards the premeditated from the beginning. The desired out come is publicity and they really got back in front of people by this simple action.

Oct 14, 2010 10:01 AM #64
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist

Sounds like Gap is a little desperate these days.  When was the last time you bought something at the Gap?

Oct 14, 2010 11:19 PM #65
Pam Calder

win win indeed... good post.

Oct 25, 2010 05:23 AM #66
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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