Logo change provides unique opportunity to focus message

Several well-known brands have recently introduced new logos, including Starbucks and, more recently, Pepsi-Cola. The company unveiled its new "smile" logo last month as part of a long-term effort to revamp brands like Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

In the news
Several well-known brands have recently introduced new logos, including Starbucks and, more recently, Pepsi-Cola. The company unveiled its new “smile” logo last month as part of a long-term effort to revamp brands like Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

“Pepsi's new brand identity program is the first step in a multiyear reinvestment in carbonated soft drinks,” Nicole Bradley, senior manager of PR at Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages, notes, via e-mail. She noted that Edelman is helping it with digital and social media outreach for the redesign.

Discussions about the brand's image change have arisen in social networking sites, including Friend Feed and Flickr.

Why does it matter?
Many brands and companies – even politicians – eventually update a logo, and communications behind that decision must follow.

Logo changes for consumers are emblematic of a connection between company and consumer, as product branding becomes as memorable as the product, itself, says Rich Lukis, EVP at Coyne PR.

“Every time [the agency has] changed logos for clients [like Penzoil and Hard Rock], we've done it in conjunction with a new tagline,” he adds.

For example, the Hard Rock redesign was a chance to re-introduce the brand and create buzz with a general consumer media story, he says.

“A brand's logo needs to... be... an authentic continuation of a brand story,” adds Tina Haskins Chadha, EVP at Kaplow.

Five facts:

1 The Xerox Corporation significantly revised its logo in January 2008 to reflect its greater presence in new technologies that generate billions of dollars.

2 AT&T's 2005 logo redesign coincided with a large-scale rebranding of 30 million monthly customer bills and 40,000 uniforms and hardhats for service reps.

3 Starbucks brought back a slightly modified logo from 1971, featuring a naked, twin-tailed mermaid for eight weeks this spring as it took a renewed look at business.

4 In 2003, the Ford Motor Company marked its second century and its revitalization strategy by bringing back a modernized version of its centennial oval logo.

5 Last year, a designer for Saks Fifth Avenue employed a Yale theoretical physicist to create new life for its logo by chopping it into 64 squares.

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