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Pepsi's major logo revamp: How an established brand maintains familiarity while appealing to a new generation

Pepsi's major logo revamp: How an established brand maintains familiarity while appealing to a new generation

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Pepsi has unveiled a new logo and visual identity which makes it the first update of the Pepsi globe logo in 14 years. Paying homage to the brand’s heritage while being forward looking in terms of sustainability, the brand’s new logo largely encapsulates what Pepsi stands for today. It is bolder and more confident as compared to the logo's predecessor.

The previous logo had a lower-case ‘pepsi’ sitting shyly next to a globe and pasted on a pastel background. The new one, on the other hand, is more vivid and prominent. With a capitalised ‘PEPSI’, the logo is placed on a bolder globe comprised of greatly contrasted colours. The differences between the two logos are hard to miss but has clearly become more modern and forward-looking. 

Oddly reminiscent of the 1990s version of Pepsi’s logo, Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, said in a release that that was the logo that somehow stuck with consumers and that it was high time to return to it. He added that Pepsi is a “bold and confident brand” that stands for “unapologetic enjoyment”, which was unfortunately not being delivered by the brand’s previous logo.

Kaplan added that the new visual system brings out the best of the Pepsi brand's rich heritage, while taking a giant leap forward to set it up for success in an increasingly digital world. What has now become a digital generation requires brand logos to look appealing not only on print, but on screens as well.

Don's miss: Pepsi brings back 1990s look in major logo revamp after 14 years

Considering the global recognition Pepsi has, a brand logo revamp is a big deal. To ensure consumers maintain a sense of familiarity with and loyalty to the brand, it is imperative for the logo revamp to appeal to both younger and older generations.

The only constant is change

According to Jodh Deensay, a partner at Sambal Lab, the only constant in our world is change and evolution, which is what Pepsi’s new logo signifies.

The new logo, Dheensay believes, leans heavily on the nostalgia factor, which is something the older generation that grew up consuming Pepsi can relate to. Simultaneously, the logo-refresh appeals to the younger generation because it is more in line with what they perceive as being trendy and current, which seems to be what Pepsi initially aimed to achieve.

Sutapa Bhattacharya, managing director at DIABrands, agreed by saying that brands need to adapt to cultural shifts to remain relevant. However, she noted, that while doing so, the core values and brand messaging needs to remain intact because they form the basis of the brand’s appeal and purpose.

It is indeed a bold step on Pepsi’s part to make a dramatic change as it has. 

Connecting with a younger generation 

Pepsi is not the first brand that has seen multiple brand logo refreshes. However, with this revamp, Pepsi has put in the groundwork to connect with younger generations. Dheensay pointed out that Pepsi’s competition today is not just Coca-Cola but also, a host of other indie sodas, coffees, and even flavored waters that the new generation enjoys.

For instance, one of the vehicles through which Pepsi drives its connection with the younger generations is through pop culture. PepsiCo India, for instance, brings on young actors from Indian film industries to be brand ambassadors. For instance, in 2020, Pepsi India released an advertisement with Bollywood actor Salman Khan to encourage youth to be more confident in themselves and to connect with them on the anxieties of life. Such advertising shows that Pepsi has a focus on the youth agenda.

This is also in line with Pepsi bringing back iconic 2000s character Derek Zoolander as its new face after the recent cultural resurgence the character saw on TikTok. The character's newfound fame was amplified by his role in Pepsi's SuperBowl campaign, and it only seemed fitting for Derek Zoolander to receive his own commercial.

Additionally, Pepsi also launched a soda for Gen Z, called Starry. The packaging of the soda has bright, contrasting colours, which appeals to the young generation, just like Pepsi’s new logo.

Bhattacharya believes that the new brand logo is a culmination of two contrasting generations. While brighter and trendier, the capitalised ‘PEPSI’ connotes reliability and stature and is more ‘corporate’ than any other Gen Z brand.

“At the end of the day, a logo change does not come alone, it is part of a bigger story of where the company and the brand are headed and its role in peoples’ lives. It will be important to see how the logo is supported by the Pepsi narrative, in the long run,” she added.

Content 360 is back on 10-11 May 2023 in Singapore. A hugely popular event over the years, Content 360 brings the most influential content creators to inspire you. Across two days, you can connect with 300+ brightest minds in the industry and learn how to overcome challenges to make your content stand out among the crowd. Tickets are on sale now, register today: https://conferences.marketing-interactive.com/content360-sg/ 

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