Most of us don’t really pay attention to the type of bottle our soda drinks come in, but for a company like Pepsi, it’s a giant part of their global branding that the company is constantly tweaking. As one of the key identifying factors of such a product it’s important to get the image just right and to change with the motion of the ever evolving social culture.
Your brand is your company identity, that visual aid that helps your customers/clients remember you and establish a relationship with you. While it needs to have a visual impact it must be simple and easy to remember so when your logo pops up somewhere, immediately people can identify with you. While changing your ‘image’ is important to the business evolution through the ages, to not only let customers know you can change with the times but to make sure you don’t get left behind, when is it good to change and when is it bad?
Pepsi just unveiled a new bottle for its 16 oz. and 20 oz. beverages, the first redesign those bottles have seen in 16 years. As AdAge notes, the new design features a swirled grip — a new design cue that the company hopes it can use to make its bottle a more effective and iconic marketing tool. While a bottle’s shape might sound like a mundane detail best left for designers and marketing departments to obsess over, the bottle can be just as effective a branding tool as the logo itself — just take a look at Coca-Cola’s iconic “contour bottle” design. However while Pepsi strives to have a shape that stands the test of time like Coca Cola, they just can’t seem to hit the mark no matter how many times they try. And this new design? Just another example.
It is essential to update your company’s image to adjust to the needs of the changing market, but Coca Cola and Pepsi are perfect examples of when this adjustment to social standards works, and when it doesn’t. Change is not corporate suicide, it’s all in the execution.
Coca cola has changed just about as many times as Pepsi, but haven’t suffered the ridicule, loss of business or market like Pepsi. Why? Coke’s signature red coloring, scripted font, and contoured bottle have been brand highlights for decades. While their ‘look’ changes to match the social style, their base branding hasn’t. Pepsi on the other hand hasn’t had nearly as consistent a brand image as Coke over the years. Pepsi’s sensibilities are a lot more subject to the whim of design trends (check out its logo from 2003 to 2007, for example).
That logo was famously replaced back in 2008, when Pepsi’s new, flatter design first attracted attention for its resemblance to the logo used by the Obama presidential campaign. When a 27-page design document leaked, the attention they received from this ‘revolutionary’ design turned to mocking in early 2009. The “breathtaking design strategy” included some ridiculous claims to justify the very minor changes to Pepsi’s logo — the golden ratio, the earth’s gravitational field, “a scientific method of color assignment,” and the “gravitational pull of Pepsi” are just a few examples of the companies “inspiration” for the change. With a swirled bottle this 2013, we can only imagine the well-documented scientific theories to justify this supreme design. We are sure this includes Martie McFly’s DeLorean, flying saucer’s, tornado’s, you know…the usual suspects.
So needless to say, to ensure you’re on top of the game and last as long through the decades as Coca Cola, be sure to keep your branding and image up to date but do so while maintaining who you are as a company! Just like changing your appearance (you wouldn’t want to be walk around with a 1980’s rat tail or a 1960s beehive hair style in 2013) your hairstyle may change, but the person wearing it doesn’t.
Looking to update your look? While we can’t help you with that rat tail or beehive, we do have graphic designer’s at the ready to help you update your company image. 2013 has promise for many styles and companies, whether it’s just updating your font or a total re-brand contact us to promote your soon to be timeless company!