Sep 23

How to put a brand ‘top-of-mind’ by changing it

Posted by Packaging Sense in Logotypes | Uncategorized

Twenty years ago, in the UK (of course!), a brave brand manager at Kraft Foods (as it was called at that time) accepted a proposal from the Design Bridge Packaging Agency to temporarily change TOBLERONE to “TO.MY.LOVE” for St. Valentine’s day! The rest is history. The whole production was sold out in about a week!

Kraft learned something and has since produced all kinds of alternatives to the original TOBLERONE logotype. Many other brands have followed and Mars has become both Refuel and Hopp (in Switzerland at the last European Football Cup).

NIVEA use their typical white typeface on the blue background to announce both Christmas, birthdays or special promotions with words like MERCI or LOVE.

Thus the question, why do they do this and does it strengthen or weaken their brand identity? It obviously strengthens it, as they do not change the visual identity, i.e. typeface (font), colours, style or basic layout.

Furthermore, it does not cost anything more than a small change to the artwork, the printing plate, the cylinder, etc.

The effect is the following:

–          as the consumer recognises the brand, it obviously strengthens it (by repetition), but, most of all

–          the consumer reacts as something has changed. Our brain registers the brand and understands that something has been changed without changing the basics. It signals that it is contemporary, up-to-date. And, of course, there is some fun in doing this so it makes you smile, a reaction that proves you have noticed the brand!

I often get the comment that only well known brands can do this to which I answer “yes, but…” Obviously, it does not make sense to do this with a new brand. However, the sooner one does something, the faster the brand will be noticed.

In my packaging collection, I have some outstanding examples such as Pringles’ “Pringoooals” or Branston Pickle with their famous slogan “Bring out” (the Branston). Marmite does it as well. If someone still has doubts about the success of such changes, ask Coca-Cola when they altered their logotype into names like “Lars”, “Valentine”, etc.

Being an avid jazz fan, I particularly like Evian’s latest version of its brand “swing” (play young), in this case referring to a golf player at the Evian tournament which is mainly sponsored by the water brand.

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