Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is brand new better?

The Black Sheep have been doing a lot of driving lately, but we’ve always got marketing on the mind. One of the most common road-trip discussions we have revolves around the many billboards and buildings we see traveling from city to city – remember, we’re from Texas, so the only alternative landscape is a cow or two.

Now, we don’t consider ourselves opposed to change. We’re all about moving forward and staying ahead of the game. Everybody knows that. It’s just that we’re not sure we agree with some of the mumbo jumbo that’s going on out there. There seems to be a disheartening trend in rebranding, and frankly, we’ve got mixed feelings about it. Here are some of the brands that caught our attention:

Holiday Inn Express – Admittedly, this one needed some work from the get-go. I understand that they wanted to convey that their budget hotel is clean, green, fresh and modern. Fine. All good qualities for a $59-a-night establishment. But, in our opinion, they’re taking it too far. Their green is too green, their blue is too blue, and their “H,” while an improvement from their previous font, just seems to be trying too hard. What happened to classy and understated? This whole image just comes off as cheap, and while that’s also true of Holiday Inn Express, it’s probably not something they should flaunt in their logo.

Pepsi – This to me can only be described in three letters: W. T. F. They had one of the most iconic brands in the world. Their wavy circle was neither overbearing nor outdated. It was simple and clean. So why change it to whatever that thing is now? It accomplishes nothing. And again, it looks cheap. What’s even worse is their “Refresh Everything” billboard campaign that looks like it’s straight out of a third world country. I’m not hating on the industrially underdeveloped, but I don’t think anyone looks to them for advertising inspiration.

Jack-In-The-Box – This one we haven’t quite made up our minds about. It’s definitely a departure from their old look, which seems almost retro-kitschy at this point. Maybe that’s not a bad thing? Their ads in general have always been so great, it never really bothered us. But, maybe this new “3D” box isn’t so bad either. They are certainly guilty of over-modernizing, using robot-style fonts underneath the icon, which makes me think someone unaware of current styles made that selection. [Shrug]. I guess we’ll have to give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re keeping our eyes on you, Jack.

Let us just say, for the record, we’re totally in favor of revamping your company’s look. Dated brands are the worst, and they’re totally detrimental to your image. Just don’t go from bad to lame. This is a decision that has to last a long time, and you shouldn’t rush into anything. Hey, we’re still trying to figure it out ourselves.

So what do you think? Do like these new brands? Have you noticed any others? We want YOUR opinion!

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