As I was browing the social news sites last week an article caught my eye about GAP's decision to change their logo, a decision that ultimately backfired so badly that they decided to go back to the old one. But that wasn't the end of the story as social network users decided to take this story a whole step further.
The timeline of the GAP logo saga (minus the twist at the end) goes something like this:
- GAP design new logo
- New logo gets published on website after going through internal reviews and processes
- Great outcry follows on social networks, see for example GAP's Facebook page
- GAP recognizes it's mistake and promises to get community involved in new logo design
- GAP can't figure out how to harness the power of social networks
- GAP switches back to old logo
So far this is an interesting story but its not the first time a company has decided to backtrack on a logo change due to outcry on social networking sites, GAP management should ask Tropicana about their experience.
Leaving aside the marketing details and implications associated with the event (if you do want to read about them I suggest this entry from The Politics of Marketing blog), I would like to move on to the final twist that makes this story even more interesting. Since GAP coulden't seem to figure out how to involve the community in the new logo design or didn't really want to involve them, and the second cause seems more likely given the statment from Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America who said "We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing" the social network stepped in to help them yet again.
99designs "the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design" as they call themselves created a contest asking their users to help GAP create a new logo. The response was overwelming with over 1000 designers submitting more than 4600 logos with the winner getting a $500 prize and the winning entry being submitted to GAP as a goodwill gesture.
I guess the ball is in GAP's hands now and if they still find themselves hesitient to listen to the wisdom of the crowd I'm sure we can hand this final step over to another social site as they seem pretty good at making changes to large corporate sites. GAP management should ask Gene Simmons about his experience on that...