Creating an Enduring Legacy
Gap is an American clothing brand founded in 1969 and became the ubiquitous casual cool brand in the 90s.
Gap started struggling when trends changed in the 2000s. The company tried to boost sales by slashing prices but disastrous cycles of discounts eroded the brand’s value. In 2016, the CEO admitted to an identity crisis and lack of creative vision. Gap no longer shapes culture as it once did. Gap needs to address a perception of deteriorating quality and a lack of clear differentiation. We set out with the objective of reviving Gap’s position in culture by clearly owning the core of the brand to resonate with today’s youth and recapture those that grew up with the brand.
Gap is struggling as it tries to be everything for everyone. ‘Everyone’ is important to Gap as inclusivity is their core value and no one serves different generations better than them. It is the ‘Everything’ that needs to be tackled.
Essentials are the core of the brand and this can be honed in to address the lack of differentiation. An enduring legacy is one of the brand’s strongest equities and durable products carry legacies for longer. We suggest that Gap must reinvest in durable clothes for an enduring legacy. We want to position Gap as ‘enduring essentials for everyone’.
In line with the new positioning, we crafted the brand book for Gap.
We suggested activations across touchpoints to bring to life the enduring values of products and the enduring aspects of Gap’s mission.
1. Enduring Essentials: Product Divisions
The enduring essential apparel will be positioned within two clear categories - Core essentials for their classics and Collaborative essentials for the clothes designed in partnership.
2. Gap Lab
Gap Lab will be an umbrella initiative for nimble product innovations through imaginative collaborations with celebrities, artists, designers and consumers.
3. Residency Program
There will be an annual residency program for recruiting emerging creative talent from formally trained to self taught creatives such as artists, designers, stylists, trend forecasters - thus bringing consumers into their creative process.
4. Enduring Legacy: Retail Spaces
The store interiors can use old iconic Gap posters and visual elements from its original stores to infuse color and vibrancy. Reviving music and records at each store and creating trial mirrors that allow customers to be a part of the enduring legacy.
5. Enduring Optimism: Generation Good
A podcast consisting of short interviews with a pool of young changemakers about shaping culture, talking beyond clothes thus aligning with the Gen Z audience who are driven by their values and activism.