Branding Ideas℠

Tag: Pepsi

You are currently browsing the Branding Ideas Blog posts tagged: Pepsi

Making the Grade: Seattle’s Beats Coffee

Seattle’s Best Coffee, which was acquired by Starbucks in 2003, unveiled a new logo design this week and it’s been causing quite a…stir. Following the recent trend popularized by President Obama’s 2008 election campaign logo and Pepsi’s controversial re-branding, the coffee franchise’s new logo is simple, sleek, and a little bland. We dig the coffee cup and liquid drop idea, but the color palette is weaker than a mug of bad jo. The choice to maintain Seattle’s Best Coffee’s red color, in particular, makes one blogger’s assessment that the new logo is fit for a blood bank (not a java joint) pretty accurate. A for effort, but C for overall execution.

It’s All in the Packaging

On the heels of Pepsi’s new makeover, Tropicana (which is owned by PepsiCo) unveiled their new packaging—a sleeker, simpler design that some have claimed looks generic or even “European.” The design certainly falls in line with the recent trends we noted in our last post, but there are other aspects of Tropicana’s new designs that have also caught Branding Ideas’ attention. The company’s website includes a new “Juice Finder” feature so that consumers can choose their preferred product and see what the new packaging looks like, ostensibly so that shoppers don’t have to spend too much time scratching their heads in the juice aisle. “No Pulp Original” has been changed to the more affirmative “Pulp Free” (which also brings to mind the common “Fat Free” label used on many food products), “Lots of Pulp Grovestand” is now “High Pulp,” and “No Pulp with Calcium and Vitamin D” is now the slightly more succinct “Pulp Free Calcium + Vitamin D,” etc. Consistency is vital to branding your product or business, and while Tropicana’s strategy and potentially confusing online translator feature might be raising eyebrows in supermarkets and boardrooms across the country (according to a New York Times piece, Tropicana has received so much negative feedback that they’re ditching the new style and returning to the old design), the company’s growing pains might have ultimately helped customers more easily distinguish individual products in their extensive juice line in the long term. Hopefully, the new-new designs will implement the much clearer color coding system introduced with the new, controversial packaging.

What’s in a Logo?

The Obama administration recently unveiled a new logo for its massive economic recovery bill. Yes, a logo for a government bill. It seems that the folks who so shrewdly branded the new president during his run for office last year is using the same approach to help communicate his agenda. The logo is simple, comprised of three segments that represent energy, manufacturing and country, and will be used to help Americans identify economic projects that have been “stimulated” by the legislation. What the administration understands is that people respond to things that are easily identified and understood. After a rocky first few weeks of the Obama presidency, the new logo accomplishes both.

One defining trait of both Obama’s campaign logo and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act logo is that they both utilize simple, primary colors (sans any gradient effects) and soft, rounded edges. It’s a recent trend in graphic design that can also be found in the refurbished logos for Pepsi and Walmart. Pepsi’s logo has been the topic of much conversation and debate; it takes the cola company’s classic, well-known logo and gives it a new twist, similar in style and presentation to Obama’s logos. Last month, Gawker leaked a 27-page document detailing the concept behind the Pepsi logo: magnetic dynamics, the theory of relativity, the renaissance, ancient Chinese art, the human body. Clearly over-thought and over-sold. Is any of that actually communicated to consumers by the new ad?

Walmart’s logo is slightly more effective. Transitioning from big, blocky capital letters hyphenated with a star to a more elegant font and a yellow starburst that evokes an organic, eco-friendly message, the popular chain store has successfully softened its image. Yes, it risks looking like an energy company, but Walmart has become a household name and its new slogan, “Save Money. Live Better.,” communicates both the company’s reputation for saving its customers money while at the same time improving their lives—and, having made efforts to reduce fuel consumption and offer eco-friendly products, maybe the planet too!

Getting Consumers to Plug In

Advertisers are always seeking new and inventive ways to reach consumers. No longer is it enough to simply make a visual impression and hope that people will remember your product, movie or television show. Two years ago, Canadians encountered Pepsi ads on subway trains that allowed riders to plug their headphones into multimedia ports and listen to snippets of music. And now New York City subway riders will get to experience a similar interactive marketing campaign for HBO’s drama Big Love, which premieres next week on the premium cable network. Instead of music, though, passersby can plug into audio jacks to hear secrets about different characters on the show. Similar ads are also running in Los Angeles. Part of the reason behind the concept may be due in part to the fact that Big Love has been off the air for a year and a half. TV viewers can lose interest pretty fast and any reminder of a show’s characters, plot points or “secrets” could entince audiences to return for the new season. Interaction has always been key to mining a product’s target audience but in this fast-paced, gadget-driven new century, getting consumers to plug in is becoming more and more essential.