C'mon, Gap! Give a Little Bit ...
Faced with a lackluster 2006, most especially an 8% decline in same-store-sales last December, The Gap has recently implemented various strategic solutions, most notably a CEO switch-out and the hire of a new lead designer. As a result, however, the clothing behemoth has apparently taken its own signature plea, "Fall into The Gap," to heart, and finds itself floundering between old and new brand positioning.
Remember the yuletide days of yore when Santa pulling-up the tail of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade wasn't the only sign of the approaching Christmas holiday? Personally, I always looked forward to The Gap's latest Christmas campaign. From the "Sleigh Ride/Ice, Ice, Baby" medley to Sheryl Crow, India.Arie, et. al. crooning Supertramp's "Give A Little Bit" in the season's latest styles - all, of course, on the mandatory, stark white background and closing with the on-cue Gap logo - the spots were my green light to haul out the Christmas decor. Well, bah humbug! I have yet to see a single Christmas-inspired Gap ad this year.
Is the company amidst so much strategic change that it opted to sacrifice a tradition? Granted, repositioning an established brand is extremely difficult, but it seems to me that The Gap should have cashed-in on its brand equity (read: pop culture references, the stark white background, on-cue logo closing) as they reposition behind-the-scenes, especially during the year's busiest shopping season! For The Gap's sake, I hope this strategy pays off and they don't find their earnings matching the color of Rudolph's nose.
Have you noticed "the gap?" Do you think the company made a wise decision this season?