Two recent news items about companies that changed their brand identity got us thinking about the necessity of such changes.
One is Pepsi’s new logo. Greeted with some admiration but mostly angry backlash over the million-dollar budget that produced a logo only slightly different than its predecessor, the new logo begs the question, Was this necessary?
The other is the new Tropicana packaging, which was also met with dismay by consumers and industry folks alike.
Interestingly, both of these projects were done by Arnell Group, and we’re really curious to know one thing: Did they ask Pepsi and Tropicana customers if they wanted a brand redesign?
To our thinking, both new product identities look generified and are in no way improvements over what had been in use for years. But it doesn’t matter what we think, as design professionals. What matters is what we think as customers – us and the millions of other Pepsi and Tropicana customers. And we think Arnell Group didn’t bother to find out.
All too often companies want to change their look, get a new website, or update their logo “just because.” Because they’re tired of looking at it. Because their competition did. Or because their ad agency suggested it.
But none of these are good reasons. And in fact there is only one good reason to undertake such a task: Because your customers want it.
We’re all guilty of putting the cart before the horse and charging down Marketing Lane without first getting the input and approval of our customers. Lucky for us smaller businesses such moves are rarely disastrous, because we can easily change back and don’t have a client base of millions to potentially piss off. And make no mistake, people are emotionally invested in their favorite brands and get mighty pissed off about changes to them!
Regardless, now is a good time to re-learn the lessons of “look before you leap” and “if it’s not broken don’t’ fix it.” And lucky for us, we can learn these lesson vicariously through Pepsi and Tropicana, rather than first-hand.