GAP changed their logo recently. And promptly changed it back.
Writing about the flip, GAP president, Marka Hansen said in the Huffington Post, “given the passionate outpouring from customers that followed, we’ve decided to engage in the dialogue, take their feedback on board and work together as we move ahead and evolve to the next phase of Gap.”
Unsurprisingly they’re playing it down. A spokesperson for Gap said the cost of the roll out was “minimal, almost inconsequential.” Still, costs or no costs, if you believe all advertising is good advertising, this somewhat stale brand has had a new lease of life.
< Shortlived new logo with small blue box
[funniest take on the fiasco is here.]
Another recent design about-face is at Digg, the social news website. Newly appointed CEO Matt Williams has had to publicly apologise to fans for a design instigated before he’d even got his security pass. Williams said in a blog post, “…we’re deeply sorry that we disappointed… we hear you loud and clear.” They’ve since “been reinstating a number of the features that many of you loved about Digg.”
Humility not hubris seems to be the new design watchword. If you’ve got more than a dozen Facebook fans you’d better crowdsource your new home page, your logo, your typeface and your uniform change. Underestimate how people feel about your brand at your peril. In our infoculture, when executives’ expenses are published on intranets and your MD and CEO broadcast on Twitter, everyone wants more involvement and more understanding.
And let’s be honest, apart from denting the ego of a Don Draperesque designer, what’s there to lose? Your biggest fans will have weighed in either from scratch or critiquing your pro stuff and their comments or design elements might actually be worth taking forward. You could put the best of the bunch to a public vote and even get some extra PR juice from the affair.
Of course it does mean a change of mindset in that your brand is not your own. Stakeholder is an overused term in business but customers (or is that fans?), despite not owning equity, have more of a stake in your business than ever before, thanks to the closeness of modern marketing.
And boy do they like to let you know about it.