David Brown, Marketing Analyst at The Value Engineers, comments in the article ‘Brand redesigns – the good, the bad and the downright ugly’ by Rachel Donachie published on 14 January 2011 in PitchDesign.
The main focus of the article is brand redesigns and online social network responses by consumers. Apple, Pepsi, Starbucks and Gap are used as case studies. David comments…
“Sometimes a rebrand can just be that there’s new management within the company or that underlying consumer preferences have changed – look at Bird’s Eye – where’s the bird on the logo? – the messaging and the brand is all about consumer health and their logo reflects this.”
“For Starbucks, the timing really reflects the symbiotic relationship between their products and the logo – it simply hasn’t kept up with their business strategy and product mix. For the last 10 years, Starbucks hasn’t just been about coffee – as the business becomes more international the branding needs to reflect this. If you walk into a Starbucks in China, the first thing on your mind might not be coffee but may be tea, likewise in Europe preference highlights might be a snack and a wi-fi hotspot. The timing reflects a recognition of a need for consolidation.”
Brown also believes that the timing answer depends very much on the company’s senior management; “how sensitive they are to, and how proactive they want to be with, their brand logo.”
The Value Engineer’s Brown: “There will always be a period of transition, especially among devoted brand followers, and companies need to be OK with that. If there’s a clear rationale and research, so that it’s not just a flash in the pan, then the company should stand by it.”
To the question if social media does alter the dynamics of a brand launch David comments:
“What social media has done is amplify a reaction. Ten years ago if a company changed its logo there would have probably have been a letter-writing campaign.”
“Companies need to appreciate that in a focus group, when two out of ten people will say they don’t like something, when it comes to launch time, those two people will amplify to 20,000 or so.”
The full article is available on PitchDesign online.