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Analysis: Why Cadbury's sweet new look (with little logo change) is actually a win

Analysis: Why Cadbury's sweet new look (with little logo change) is actually a win

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Mondelez's iconic Cadbury brand has switched up its logo after more than 50 years. Cadbury confirmed to several media houses that it spent less than £500,000 (SG$878,850) for the logo change after initial rumours placed the number at £1 million. A Cadbury spokesperson confirmed to Marketing that the cost of this work was "nowhere near" the £1million figure that has recently been suggested and reported in the press. According to Cadbury, the new identity is intended to be a celebration of the brand’s "inherent generous" spirit whilst incorporating a distinctive and modern twist. The new elevated packaging includes a redrawn wordmark, new iconography and typography, making the look and feel more natural, authentic, and high quality.

Despite spending a significant amount on the rebrand, many netizens, with untrained designer eyes, were not able to distinguish the difference at first glance. But here's the breakdown, the old logo has a thicker stroke as compared to the new logo which represents a more cursive signed signature. Meanwhile, a closer look also reveals that the letter "u" is clearly defined in the new logo as opposed to the old one. 

Old logo and packaging:

cadbury old

New logo:

cadbury old

Currently, the new brand identity is set to launch first in Australia in May, followed by the UK and Ireland, South Africa and Malaysia later in the year, with further markets launching at the beginning of 2021.The branding agency behind Cadbury's rebranding efforts is said to be Bulletproof, which has since uploaded all of Cadbury's new rebranding collaterals on its own website.

According to Cadbury, the brand was reinvigorating itself as a progressive brand, and as such bearing the signature of founder John Cadbury himself. However, the use of signature as a brand logo is not new to the confectionary brand.Back in 1921, Cadbury's script logo was based on the signature of William Cadbury, grandson of John Cadbury. The logo later evolved into a thicker stroke and helmed a purple tone for decades. 

Renovation of heritage assets

Despite netizens' criticism of the lack of visibility on a rebrand costing hundreds of thousands, branding experts Marketing spoke to lauded Cadbury's brand refresh and coming across as a more authentic brand. According to Graham Hitchmough, regional chief operations officer at Bonsey Design, the packaging balances a renovation of heritage assets with the need for immediate shelf impact and variant navigation. He added that there is wit, craft and pragmatism in the approach which may help Cadbury claw back some lost ground from more mass premium labels. 

The packaging balances a renovation of heritage assets with the need for immediate shelf impact and variant navigation.

However, he was quick to add that the furore over the alleged cost of the rebrand and the dominating focus on the change to the signature wordmark is "symptomatic" of how coverage of this type of brand work can be reductive and misinformed. "For a business the size of Cadbury there are a great many contributing factors to the cost of change, but if they get it right – and it looks like they may have done – the rewards will be far greater," he explained. 

Agreeing with Hitchmough's view on netizens' reactions over the alleged cost of rebrand, Ambrish Chaudhry, managing strategy director, Superunion Singapore said it is myopic to look at a rebrand as just a logo change. "Often the full impact of a rebranding exercise is not immediately visible. The best rebrands capture the strength of the brand’s heritage and the ambition of the business moving forward, and that gets reflected not only in the logo but also in the brand’s communication, personality, tonality and indeed in the organisation’s culture," he added. 

It is myopic to look at a rebrand as just a logo change.

To Chaudhry, in moving from joy to generosity, the Dairy Milk brand is going right back to its roots and the ethos of its storied founder, which according to him, is "sure" way of making the brand come across as more authentic. According to Chaudhry, this could potentially aid Cadbury to stand up against the onslaught of artisanal chocolates and other emerging snacks. 

Chaudhry also added that the rebrand also maximises the use of iconic brand elements such as the two milk glasses and the colour purple, and brings the sub-brands visually closer to the Dairy Milk brand while retaining some of its own personality.

"Overall the re-brand adds a fresh new sheen to the brand even as it takes it back to its roots. And as I share a piece of Dairy Milk with my six-year-old daughter while writing this, the brand’s future seems secure because of its respect for its past," he said candidly. 

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