I Have One Word for Gap's New Identity

Brand identity expert David Brier unveils a new disorder: Gapititus.

After reading the title of this post, you might have expected a certain word. No, it's not that word. (If you're looking for something deep, insightful, meaningful or otherwise pedantic in this post, stop right here.)

Someone already beat me to the Crap solution, so I looked long and hard to how I could convey the total yawn (or at least a spin that might be interesting to somebody) of this newest brand identity debacle. Here it is:

Whether you want to read is as "goop"—the drippy stuff usually found by toddlers that is highly questionable, then cool. At least that would be applicable to the baby market.

Or, if Gap was going into a new foodie category, pronouncing this so it rhymed with Coop (as in cooperative), then groovy. Other than that, that is all I've got to say.

Fuel to the Fire
Right after I wrote the above and submitted this blog post, it was brought to my attention that Gap, on its Facbook page, opened up their logo issue to a crowd sourcing fest. But it starts with the words, "We love this [new] version but..."

HOW can you "love" a logo that doesn't even fulfill the basic definition of branding which has as its main fundamental differentiation? This merely shows Gap's complete misunderstanding of branding. How can you ask anyone to design anything with:

  • no criteria
  • no audience identification (old, young, male, female, or is it merely "anyone with extremeties"?)
  • no competitive analysis
  • no "what problem are we solving?"

No. It's all a cosmetic band-aid which is so unbelievable for a brand as big and "mature" as Gap. I'll be surprised if a few people won't lose their jobs as this is basic Branding 101.

A Total Gap (in branding)
All I see now is a total Gap in understanding what branding is all about. As in my bullet points above, if you ask no questions, you'll get no answers.

David Brier is an award-winning brand identity designer, author, and branding expert. His firm's work has won the admiration of peers and organizations but, more importantly, has helped clients jump-start their brands in new and innovative ways, even (and especially) when they've failed in previous brand makeovers. You can follow him on Twitter here.