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RE: The Gap Logo

Well, in what seems like the blink of an eye, Gap came out with a new logo, everyone online hated it and told them so and they’ve gone back to the original logo. This is starting to sound familiar, isn’t it? Our CEO Diane Hessan has talked about the ways brands like Motrin and Tropicana have similarly bombed with campaigns that clearly weren’t properly tested with the public in a meaningful way.

Diane makes an eloquent case about the perils of not fully understanding the emotional depth that people can form with brands. This week, I thought I’d give you an inside peek at how Communispacers at the sub-Diane level think about these things. The following email chain took place between verbatim bloggers earlier this week; nothing has been edited, though names have been redacted to protect the innocent.

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From: verbatim administrator
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 10:36 AM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: The Gap Logo

Hi friends,

As many of you may have noticed the new Gap logo has ignited quite the storm online — reminds me a bit of the Tropicana packaging fiasco last year.

Anywho, might be a good topic for a post …

Happy Columbus Day!

***

From:
verbatim blogger “A”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 3:47 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

Maybe we should re-RE brand Communispace.  Check out www.gapyourself.com

***

From:
verbatim blogger “B”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 3:50 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

I confess, I’m a little stumped by the degree of passion around this. It inspired me to come up with the following:

***

From:
verbatim blogger “C”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 3:57 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

True, but at the same time people feel that messing with logos is similar to messing with the recipe, and we all know what happened when Coca-Cola messed with the recipe …

***

From: verbatim blogger “B”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 4:01 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

Good point. Actually, [redacted verbatim blogger] has just given me about 27 reasons why this is a big deal, especially for Gap loyalists. So while I still don’t quite grok the intensity of emotion around this, I do appreciate why it matters to the brand’s health and how people perceive it.

But since I’m not a brand loyalist, the truth is that I just don’t care. Just don’t tell anyone, okay? I know it’s heresy …

***

From:
verbatim blogger “A”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 4:09 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

It’s funny.  I’d bet most would agree that Gap lost a good deal of emotional relevance/resonance with its audience in the past few years.  However, those same people are reacting pretty emotionally about a brand they don’t have a lot of emotion for …  And depending on how it’s leveraged, this new emotion COULD be channeled for good … or could be the catalyst for some consumers to finally divorce themselves from a brand that has increasingly let them down.  Unfortunately, I find myself in the latter camp.  But the opportunities to turn this emotion positive could be interesting …

I think they need a community.

***

From: verbatim blogger “C”
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 4:27 PM
To: All verbatim bloggers
Subject: RE: The Gap Logo

I was at family dinner last night and something funny happened — my mom and I both defined ourselves as “Gap kids.” Without giving away her age too much, my mom was in high school when Gap was becoming cool and I can’t remember not wearing Gap. There are very few other brands that a millennial and a boomer would identify with in such a way.

Part of me thinks “logogate” was done on purpose — what if they tested the logo, found out it tested terribly and still went with it given the emotion it elicits?

But the real question is: who’s going to write the blog post? 🙂

***

Well, *I* got to write the blog post! But I’m not telling you who was who. I guess you’ll have to read every post on verbatim to figure out everyone’s writing style and try to match it back …

The point is, even on our own time, folks at Communispace can’t help but observe ways that companies could seriously benefit from listening to the voices of their customers before they make big moves like this. We’re obsessed with getting companies to understand the emotions and mindset of their customers. So even if we don’t, ahem, care ourselves what the Gap logo looks like, we know it’s important to Gap’s biggest customers, and we know how to figure out why it matters so much to them.

By the way, we’re not re-branding Communispace to look like Gap’s almost-logo. No offense, Helvetica.

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