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Client

Gap

Role

Strategic Positioning

Brand Analysis

Identity Design

Team

School Of Visual Arts MPS Branding

Challenge

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.

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Gap struggled when trends changed in the 2000s, slowing sales at the turn of the century, well before the financial crash of 2007 that impacted the retail industry.

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THREAT ONE


The former ubiquitous casual cool brand is being challenged by more focused, faster or cheaper competitors.

70% of Gen Z are more likely to shop from a brand that they follow on social media.

THREAT TWO

The hero mall brand must now compete for attention on a smartphone - with endless scrolls and endless competitors.

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Insight

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 this ‘Everything’ that needs to be tackled.

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Strategy

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 reinvest in durable clothes for an enduring legacy. We want to position Gap as ‘enduring essentials for everyone’.

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Creative Solutions

Based on the new positioning, we crafted the brand book for GAP.

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Enduring Essentials: Product Divisions

The Enduring Essential apparel will be positioned within two clear categories - Core Essentials for Gap's classics and Collaborative Essentials for the clothes designed in partnership with collaborators.

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GAP Lab

Gap Lab will be an umbrella initiative for nimble product innovations through imaginative collaborations with celebrities, artists, designers and consumers.

Residency Program

There will be an annual residency program to recruit emerging creative talent from formally-trained to self-taught creatives such as artists, designers, stylists, trend forecasters - thus bringing consumers into their creative process.

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Enduring Legacy: Retail Spaces

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 can also allow customers to be a part of the enduring legacy.

Enduring Optimism: Generation Good podcast

A podcast consisting of short interviews with a pool of young change-makers about shaping culture, opening conversations beyond clothes and aligning with the Gen Z audience who are driven by their values and activism.

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