"Laird had a number of [logo] options that were presented and
discussed. The senior team reacted positively to the idea of
evolving the logo," Mr. Chandler said.
"Ultimately, it's something that Marka talked about with Glenn
Murphy, our CEO," he added. "In the end, Marka and Glenn have both
taken accountability and have said this was an instance of one
change too many."
Gap has changed its product mix, merchandising and store design
in hopes of boosting sales and attracting customers. Annual sales
at stores open at least a year haven't been positive since 2004.
And same-store sales have been negative for the last six months,
falling 1% in September.
Mr. Murphy has also put pressure on the company's brands,
including Gap, to improve top-line sales, said Mr. Chandler. Gap
Inc.'s other retail brands are Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime
"There's a well-intentioned desire to signal change," Mr.
Chandler said. "But we recognize that changing the logo in this way
was one change too many and executed too fast."
Asked why Gap handled the rollout the way it did, Louise
Callagy, a Gap spokeswoman, told Ad Age on Oct. 7 that rolling it
out on Facebook was "in line" with millennials, the target market.
Gap executives, however, appeared to have doubts about their new
logo just two days after its online debut. After an initial spate
of negative comments, on Oct. 6 a message appeared on Gap's
Facebook page acknowledging the debate and asking for consumer
input on the designs: "Stay tuned for details in the next few days
on this crowd sourcing project," it read.
But the crowdsourcing idea triggered a spate of backlash among
the design community, who saw it as a play for free logo ideas. Mr.
Chandler said that a small team of senior executives worked through
the weekend, monitoring talk about the brand and its plans to
crowdsource a new logo. It quickly determined that it should return
to the original logo and that decision was announced internally
Oct. 11, as first reported by Ad Age.
The silver lining of the whole ordeal? It was a cheap mistake,
money-wise. Unlike PepsiCo's 2009 Tropicana rebranding disaster,
which was rolled out on millions of orange juice cartons across the
country's grocery aisles, Gap's new logo was quickly swapped out in
its upcoming holiday campaign before any holiday collateral was
Mr. Chandler called expenses associated with the rollout and
subsequent killing of the logo "minimal, almost inconsequential."
And while Ms. Hansen briefly addressed the logo at Gap Inc.'s
annual investor day on Oct. 14, no investors asked questions about
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Contributing: Andrew Hampp and Rupal Parekh