Gap’s $100 Million Marketing Mistake

It took only 6 days for the mistake to be reversed.

Aaron Schnoor
4 min readJun 28, 2024
Photo by lan deng on Unsplash

Few logos are as iconic as that of Gap, the popular clothing retailer. The company’s white-lettered “G A P” against a dark blue background has become a recognizable favorite since the company’s inception since 1969.

So what happened when Gap tried to change their logo in 2010?

Absolute chaos ensued.

The Background

After the financial crisis of 2008, Gap sales fell drastically. Consumers’ pockets were tight; why spend money on new clothes when consumers could just wear their old clothes until they had more money to spend?

Seeing the company’s dwindling bottom line, Gap marketing executives decided that a change was necessary. They decided to change the company’s recognizable logo to something that was (in their own words) “modern, sexy, and cool.”

Although exact figures are not fully known, it is estimated that Gap spent $100 million on the rebrand.

Yes, you read that right. $100 million.

The Change

Gap’s logo change was not subtle. It was not a quiet change that occurred over a long period of time.