In a fast-paced and driven society, companies are constantly having to move forward, forcing them to focus on where they need/want to be in the future. This kind of mentality is almost necessary in order to stay competitive in any market. For some companies, there comes a time when the solution to moving forward is rebranding themselves. This ranges from designing a new logo to completely changing the company's mission in order to communicate a modern and progressive approach to their consumers. We have noticed this trend quite frequently in the past years, especially among larger, well- known companies such as Wal-Mart or FedEx. Usually, rebranding a company can be a positive thing from a social standpoint. Society tends to react favorably when they like the new change. With the Internet and social media, individuals are able to communicate to the rest of the world just how much they like these changes.
In recent weeks, we have noticed that sometimes this is not always the case. Gap felt that they also needed a change. They had had the same logo for over 20 years and, silently, decided to post a new logo onto their website with the idea that it would communicate a more streamlined and refreshed look and feel. Socially, this logo was not received well and was greatly criticized by the public. Some came up with creative ways to backlash at Gap's new logo. One that I found interesting was a logo generator, aimed at showing the public how easy it was to create a bad logo. Others chose to attack the logo on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. A parody Twitter account was created with tweet updates like:
@superboxmonkey - "New Gap logo "looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word"
@spydergrrl - "Seen new Gap logo yet? I think it definitely captures essence of this generation, that is: "meh"
Gap also received much hype on their company's Facebook page. Because of such a widely negative response, Gap decided to ask the public for ideas. This is a somewhat new term we call crowd sourcing, which in some's opinion, was the whole ploy behind launching a mediocre logo. Most likely though, Gap had to do some damage control and used crowd sourcing as a way to cover up a poorly designed logo. Through blogs and other sources of communication, individuals also decided to create new Gap logo ideas or just make fun of the current one. In a timeframe of no more than a week of launching their new logo, Gap announced that they would be going back to their old logo, based upon feedback from the public.
The whole point behind this case study is the power of the social context of communication. With the rapid growth in social media, blogs, etc., individuals have more freedom to communicate what they want, to whomever they want. Almost like saying, "what the public wants, the public gets." Social communication can be so important to the reputation or likability of a company. In the case of Gap, when their logo didn't communicate to the public what they had intended, they were forced to listen to their retailers and get rid of it.
Jones, Nate. "New Gap Logo: Start of a Crowdsourcing Contest? - TIME NewsFeed." TIME NewsFeed - Breaking News and Updates. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
"New Gap Logo Hated by Many, Company Turns to Crowdsourcing Tactics - Velocity - Remaking Personal Technology - Forbes." Forbes. 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
Parr, Ben. "Gap Reverts to Original Logo After Social Media Backlash." Social Media News and Web Tips - Mashable - The Social Media Guide. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.