Staying relevant is one of the main objectives of any brand. Part and parcel of that includes consistent revamping of one’s brand identity in order to remain fresh and to appeal to younger generations.
As of late, we have seen many brands revamping their logos to pack a punch, and better communicate the brand’s identity to its audiences as it evolves. For instance, recently, Pepsi made its first update of the Pepsi globe logo in nearly 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.
When asked about the new logo, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, Todd Kaplan said 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.
Pepsi, however, is not the only brand to go through a refresh. Recently, Fanta and Minute Maid took a stab at their classic branding with Fanta’s refreshed logo featuring brighter, more colourful and more vibrant colours. The rebranding, according to creative agency Jones Knowles Ritchie, aimed to “make the plain playful”. Minute Maid also recently underwent its first-ever global rebrand, with a refreshed visual identity that was targeted at the Gen Zs in its consumer base.
Colour and vibrancy seem to be the new trend and beverage companies seem to be simultaneously revamping their looks to align with it. One cannot help but ask, why now and why the influx of rebranding's?
According to DIABrands’ managing director, Sutapa Bhattacharya, while a brand is more than its logo, the logo does indeed build memorability and recognition.
In order to remain relevant, brands need to evolve in accordance with the shift in cultural values and market changes. These are expressed in the visual identity of the logo, Bhattacharya believes, as the instant marker of change to customers and stakeholders. She referenced popular brands brands such as Nike, Apple, Bata and Shell that have done the same.
Rachel Barton, strategy director of Design Bridge and Partners agreed with her by saying that brands need to evolve with the aspirations of their consumers which is one of the strongest ways of showcasing change within the business. “The best rebrands are accompanied with an exciting vision of the future,” she posited.
Does rebranding help or hurt?
Rebranding is risky business though, especially when consumers are used to the look of long-standing brands, according to Barton. She thinks that big changes, such as logo revamps can be highly disruptive and expensive, which means the brand should be clear on its vision.
She also believes that well timed and well executed logo redesigns can hugely help brands achieve growth. Encapsulating what they stand for, creating new relevance and setting them up for future success.
“However, I firmly believe that brands should not use their logo to chase consumer trends or change with every new leader. I’m looking at you Burberry. Compared to campaigns and other brand actions, we should strive for a logo to be timeless. Coca-Cola is a case in point when compared to Pepsi’s archive of redesigns,” she explained.
Barton went on to add that a logo makes an intangible brand, tangible. Whilst perceptively simple, logos and a brand’s look are packed with meaning. “A logo has incredible power. And its power can be grown or eroded with every change. So, my ultimate advice to every brand manager is to tread carefully but intentionally,” she said.
What makes for a ‘successful’ rebrand?
A rebrand aims to deliver the message of evolved branding. The goal is to reach more consumers and have more of them connect with said branding.
To be successful, he believes that brands should retain distinctiveness while continuing to better one’s strategy. “Don’t expect logo to do it all. Whilst it may be your most precious asset, its influence over consumers is not as great as it once was. To truly transform perceptions, all touchpoints and assets need to work together to form your distinctive identity,” Barton said.
Graham Hitchmough, the chief operating officer at The Bonsey Design added on by saying that a good rebrand successfully addresses the critical factors that necessitated the change in the first place. To adequately deliver the message, Hitchmough said that the rebrand needs to rely on the “skill and creativity of the agency entrusted with it.”
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