The other day I was opining about Olive Garden’s twee new logo as part of its “time will tell how much money was wasted on a new menu, new concept” rebrand campaign. It was on Google+ so, I’m sure you didn’t see it. Budumptssh. (Sorry, cheap shot.)
Brands update their logos all the time. Sometimes people notice, complain so much that The Gap logo reverts back. More often than not it’s only us business communications types, Monday morning quarterbacking what we’d have done differently.
(FWIW As a designer and communications consultant not sure I would have changed the font, that was almost iconic. The ‘kitchen’ label seems a misnomer considering each location is designed to serve the exact same food the exact same way. The generic clip art scroll vine? Meh.)
The problem is – as always – a brand thinking about the how the rebrand helps the brand brand its brand.
Sell, sell, sell! Visions of stocks and market share and “omg, what does Wall Street think?!” dance in TPTB heads. Because a logo makeover is all it takes to make customers open their wallets for the same crap you’ve been selling all along. See also: why I have not set foot in a J.C. Penney in years.
Do More, Be More, Make More Money
A “where am I?” riddle: I’m buying a gourmet toffee latte. A fresh sandwich. And another losing lottery ticket. I had free WiFi. Am I at a new corner market or fancy new coffee shop? Nope. Hint: I also got gas.
Here in Atlanta we have choices: where to shop, where to spend our grocery dollars, where to dine. Where to get a hit of the last socially acceptable wonder drug known as caffeine. And gas.
Have you been to a new RaceTrac or QuikTrip lately? Wow. Clean. Organized. Convenient.
- Room of cold beer. Check.
- Counters for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, snacks, any soda you could want. Check.
- Build your own yogurt bar, with a temptingly evil toppings station and rewards card for those of us sans willpower. Check.
They didn’t decide to build the same old gas station like everyone else and try to sell the same old crap. They asked: “how do we keep people coming back?” They reimagined – yeah, in the best buzziest sense – what the convenience store experience should be. For. The. Customer. Offer a good product, back it with good service, be more of what your customers want; that’s smart branding, that’s good PR.
What so many, too many companies get wrong is this: the wrapping on the package may be pretty, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
Tell me: does a new logo, a big label rebrand influence you at all? Is it a wasted effort or does a rebrand move you to take another look?
Photo credit: too many memes out there, with many a search bringing up The Gap.