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New GAP logo to the trashcan

October 12th, 2010 admin
New GAP logo versus old

New versus Old Gap Logo

Ok, so I just wanted to give my two cents on this entire New Gap Logo thing. First of all one of the things that I think is pretty bad is the fact that the company pulls the logo and throws it to the trash can. I mean, if you have done your homework, then either it works or it doesn’t. You don’t go live and then realize this is a mistake. It is too late. Some decisions in marketing need to be very carefully planned. Logo design is one of them. A big company with a big brand like Gap, can’t take the redesign of their brand lightly. It is somewhat apparent that they did. Or at least it looks like it, and now the entire brand suffers because of this perception.

Having said that, lets talk about the logo a bit. The new logo utilizes a sans-serif font as opposed to the traditional logo using a serif font. Also notice the point size is larger, the width of the font is much larger in the new logo and the kerning is much tighter in the new logo. So having said all that “technical” stuff, what does it mean? Well, naturally the new logo is going to look younger and less sophisticated. It is going to look more relaxed but also it is going to look more corporate because of the kerning. The letters are so close together that they are read as a whole, as opposed to each one separately. This is also reinforced by the fact that the font-color is a dominant 100% black as opposed to a 100% white. Now, why does that matter? Well, the moment that you enter a Gap store you’ll notice that there is almost nothing 100% black in the store. Everything in the branding of the store and the experience is about comfort, about freedom, about space, about wrinkles and about pastels – certainly not 100% black.

Two more observations: The square at the top of the new logo is an attempt to marry the old with the new, however it just doesn’t work. because the font type utilized creates round negative spaces.

Negative Spaces

Negative Spaces

If you notice, you can see that every single letter creates a rounded negative space. This gets intensified by the high contrast (black on white) and also the width of the font. So why would you break that roundness with a blue square? Well, I guess you could, however in this case it doesn’t work because it doesn’t create enough contrast or similarity.

I guess it is way easier to critique a logo than it is to create one, so for me to sit here and to talk about it is much easier than for the designer to do it.

This logo is ineffective for the Gap brand because of corporate decisions, not so much because of designer decisions.  The business (strategic) aspect of the logo is wrong and therefore not well appreciated by the fans.

Next time:

Next time Gap needs to do the following:

1. Make sure that if you are going to change your brand you are so sure that you push through no matter what. Hesitation is worse than a bad logo.

2. Take care of the process and the logo will be great. Hire a professional designer or group of designers and then let them do their jobs. Don’t have critique sessions with corporate leaders that know nothing about design.

3. Ask your fans first, then change it. Ultimately your fans are the ones who want that logo in their bags. Personally I like the old logo in the bag not the new one.

4. Don’t change something that is not broken. Change what’s broken.

5. Don’t ever change a serif font with a non-serif font in a logo that has been successfully marketed for more than 5 years (20 years in this case!)

6. Don’t mix rounded negative spaces with sharp edge unless they are clearly different in contrast, size and hue.

7. Look at the clothes of everybody walking out of the store and choose your colors based on the colors you see them buying – not the ones you want them to buy.

8. Market research is a must for a company with more than 100 employees (period).

9. Now that you have made the mistake, don’t try to hide it. Accept it and move on. People don’t want bs, simply move on. Don’t deny it, but give it the importance that it has now, it is in the trashcan; so  should your time devoted to it.

10. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AGAIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE! Let the waters settle down. Perhaps reconsider changing the logo in 5 – 7 years if neeeded.

That’s it.


Alex Centeno MBA. Director @ Merkados™

Secret that saves you two days per year!

September 27th, 2010 admin

If you are like me you are always looking for ways to optimize your online time and make your work more efficient. This video is one of hopefully many about one of my favorite topics lately: automation. How to make your repetitive online tasks a breeze. Small business owners have one thing in common: no time. In other words, if I can show you something that would save you 2 minutes a year you would certainly thank me. Well, how about something that could save you 10 minutes per day? That is more than 50 hours per year! In other words, this little secret could save you two full days a year! Come on, take at least another two days of vacation and nobody would notice.

In this video, I simply show you one of my examples for saving time online with Fake for Mac OS X.

Google new features. Google Webmaster Tools Update: Revised

September 18th, 2010 admin

I love Google updates. Every time they introduce a new feature is something valuable that brings something new to the table. This time the update is on Google Webmaster Tools (Google Sitemaps service).

The new feature is called: “Crawl Rate”. It gives information in three specific areas: Read the rest of this entry »

Interactive Marketing – Repetition and Interaction – revisited

August 26th, 2010 admin

Internet marketing is all about the sensitivity of your clients in an specific environment to specific impulses. If you have an amazing web site with accurate information, with great design and valid content but yet your client is not impacted by it, then you have absolutely nothing. In my experience I have seen the ugliest web sites generating lots of clients because they don’t fail to address their clients sensitivity. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Marketing: Concept of Perceived Value

August 26th, 2010 admin

One thing every online marketing specialist has to understand is that no matter what he does he is always dealing with individual persons. Once you get involved with analytics, the first mistake some marketers make is to start thinking that since you can track behavior as a group of users, all users are the same. It is very critical to understand that in the marketing business you assume that a market has similar needs and desires, and that they want to fill them with great intensity. The more they wait to fill their desires the more stress they receive, until they release the tension by fulfilling the desires, however everybody has slightly different desires and needs.

We all have real needs such as: a car, a house, a cell phone, a lottery ticket, friends, love, hosting, bananas and others, or it can be an abstract desire: I want to know the secret because it is secret. For example: a tv show says: “in a few seconds we are going to show you the biggest secret of all times!” and instantly they create in the viewers the abstract desire of completion. You want to know what it is. What for? It doesn’t matter. In fact before you started watching the show, you probably didn’t even have an interest. The same is applicable with sports. You may not be interested in a particular sport, however if you start to watch it, soon you’ll side with one of the teams.

The abstract desires can be created at any given moment by websites in many different ways. You can create this desires by creating un-conclusive statements to marketing phrases, for example: ” This product comes loaded with all your favorite features! What features are they talking about? Your favorite! How do they know my favorite features? By un-conclusive statements you transform the perception of the customer, because no matter what your copy says the brain has to process it and agree or disagree.

For example, right now you can agree or disagree with this article, but by reading it you are changing your perspective because you ask yourself if you agree or not. The moment you say: I don’t really care, that would mean that you are responding to the article.

You can direct the attention of your online users by the way you transform their emotions. For example if I say:

* Think for a second about the smell of the ocean, the warm sand and the breeze, feel the sun burning your skin little by little, think about the feeling later when your skin is all red and it hurts to touch anything.

If you read the last paragraph you don’t only read it and keep going but you actually set yourself in the picture because most of us has experienced that and it is painful.

You can use online copy to create sensations that will move the understanding of your audience in many ways. Some will make them buy, some will not.

If you go into a sweater store in the middle of the summer and it is 115 F. out and the store has this huge carpet with long hair and you happen to realize that the A/C is broken inside you probably won’t buy. That is why retailers make sure to set their A/C to 72 degrees.

Same situation, the hottest day ever, you look up an you see a beach bar selling bear for half price, the bear is 33F. just when it is starting to ice, you can feel the little pieces of ice – yes, it is very probably that you would buy.

Statement number one in Marketing: Life is about value. You, as everyone else, is fighting to be, to become. Things give us pleasure because they allow us to get closer to becoming or being. We buy food, cars, houses, pens, cds, magic cards, plastic bags, ice, cheese, stationary bikes. Just to become. The value of everything is determined by the ability to give that power > a bottle of water from a friend won’t be of value most of the time, however think of the value that it creates if you haven’t had any for a week in a remote desert…

The same bottle of water, however the perceived value is much higher the second time. The perceived value is based on 1. The location, 2. The especial conditions or circumstances 3. The belief system and others.

Imagine what happens when somebody writes a book. The book itself is written once. In other words the main effort is done once. The printing and distributing is a variable costs so technically you don’t really create true value every time that somebody buys the book. What you do create is perceived value because a new reader can use your information to his benefit.

Summarizing: Create perceived value for your products or services today, if you don’t, you’ll always regret it.

If you want to market sucessfully products online, find that one characteristic that makes people become, and share it.

Techniques to better websites – revisited

August 22nd, 2010 admin

I have seen how some businesses are more interested in the look of the website, instead of the little great things behind scenes. I guess it’s easy for me to see the complexities of interactive marketing because I work doing this all day long. However, I also understand that it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to everybody. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Pain as an Internet Marketing strategy – revisited

July 18th, 2010 admin

First of all I want to say that every one of us responds pretty much the same way to stimuli. We all try to avoid pain and welcome pleasure. It seems to be inserted into our nervous systems. Read the rest of this entry »

VideoCast: Retrieving IP Addresses with Google Analytics

December 3rd, 2009 admin

In this episode Alex Centeno MBA. from Merkados, shows you how to install the necessary code to retrieve the IP addresses of your visitors using Google Analytics.

This online marketing technique can be modified to be used with other scripting languages other than PHP, however, in this case, the languages used are PHP and Javascript. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Analytics Proper Goal Setting without Canonical Redirects.

October 24th, 2008 admin

Google Analytics is a great piece of software that allows you to track your visitors online. Sometimes, however, setting up goals can be a little bit more complicated. Read the rest of this entry »

Installing Google Analytics in Drupal 6.6: Beginner’s Video Tutorial.

October 23rd, 2008 admin

Many people often ask me how to properly install the Google Analytics javascript tags in their own site.
Read the rest of this entry »