Rebranding is a tough and sometimes very crucial step for brands. Although some brands get by without changing their messaging, logo or approach for years, many industries demand change to keep up with evolving environments. Pizza Hut recently decided it was time to invest in a complete revamp to adapt to new millennial demands. There are several reasons why brands may consider rebranding, but how do they determine if it is worth it? Here are the most compelling reasons:
1. Regain Customer Trust
Sometimes, brands face negative feedback from customers. Domino’s Pizza found out what this is like when two of the company’s employees posted a disrespectful video prank on YouTube. This video, which got over a million views in a week, also uncovered some underlying problems for the brand such as customers’ dissatisfaction with the taste of their sauce and “cardboard-like” crust. In order to overcome the negative image it had developed, Domino’s decided to go through with a complete rebrand that included changing its ingredients, website and boxes.
2. Adapt to New Markets
Whether a company is expanding to a new region, state or country, their messaging should be universal and applicable to all audiences. One example of this is Revlon’s latest rebrand with a tagline that uses a global expression – love. This rebrand helps Revlon better attract its new markets outside of the U.S. Although Revlon is a very large company, smaller businesses looking to expand into new markets should keep this tactic in mind. It is a good idea to have a consistent theme, but also tailor the message per area to appeal to the audience better. Coca Cola does a great job at this by keeping a consistent global message, but tailoring it per country.
3. Keep Up With Changing Times
In today’s day and age, if brands do not keep up their web presence, customers will not deem them credible. For example, brands with an outdated website or no social media presence may not be as popular compared to those that are more digital savvy. Versace recently drove a new product launch campaign using mostly social media. They used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as a new website and an added online shopping experience to attract their target audience of younger, digital savvy consumers. They were successful in hyping up the product launch and engaging their customers online. If brands want to reach a wide audience, especially the younger generations, it is crucial to stay up to date with social media.
4. Attract Different Audiences
No matter what the industry, millennials expect more from brands than their parents or grandparents probably do. Versace’s social media rebrand mentioned above is an example of adapting to these demands. According to an article and infographic by Adweek, millennials “have a different relationship with their products and the brands that create them.” Additionally, it states that “young people have an innate understanding of marketing and of their value as consumers. And they’re significantly more likely than older generations to believe they have the capacity to help a brand succeed or fail.” This is why it is even more important and challenging for brands to keep Generation Y content.
In response to these changing demands, brands such as Pizza Hut have been going through major revamps. Below is a breakdown of Pizza Hut’s recent rebranding efforts and how the brand has tackled several important factors that are important to millennials.
The Complete Overhaul: Pizza Hut’s Brand Revamp
The food industry needs to be aware of new trends to keep their customers happy. Here is how Pizza Hut adapted to the changing trends and the new generation’s demands.
Healthier living is becoming a popular trend. With fast food chains such as Chipotle and Panera Bread advertising the fresh sources of their food, Pizza Hut decided to join them by putting two antonyms together: pizza and healthy. By introducing the new “skinny pizza,” Pizza Hut has started showing off its new slogan, “All the taste and flavor that you love, but now with fewer calories.” The Skinny Slice is about 210 calories while a slice of regular, hand-tossed cheese pizza at Pizza Hut is about 290 calories.
Slate.com called Pizza Hut’s rebranding “healthy and eclectic” for a reason. The food-chain introduced a number of new flavors and pizza options including 10 new crusts, 6 new sauce choices, 5 new premium toppings and 5 new “drizzles”. Jared Drinkwater, VP of Marketing at Pizza Hut said, “Americans are experimenting with more ethnic, original, organic and experimental flavors,” while Yum Brands CEO David Novak said Pizza Hut’s rebranding will include ads designed to “better connect with millennials.” Pizza Hut is calling this its “Flavor of Now” campaign.
- Fresh Image
Not only did Pizza Hut change its logo, uniforms and boxes, the company also changed its messaging by including punny names in the menu and relying heavily on images for the rebranding campaign. With pizza names such as the “Cock-a-doodle Bacon” and the “7-Alarm Fire,” Pizza Hut is taking a unique approach to attract the younger generation. The new logo still has the trademark roof, but has gone from 2D to a more trendy flat, “casual and fresh” feel.
- Digital Presence
Nathan Iverson, EVP, design director at Deutsch, the firm in charge of the rebranding effort, said that larger visuals of the ingredients on the pizza give people what they want. “People want to see what they’re ordering, what they’re getting,” he said. “All the stuff, shot honestly, not fantastically.” That’s exactly what Pizza Hut has done with its revamped website. The restaurant has also used these “honestly” shot images across all social media channels. Additionally, the pizza chain has launched new apps to make the customer experience more convenient.
Clearly, Pizza Hut decided that a huge investment in a complete rebrand was very much needed. But with so many changes come drawbacks. For example, Pizza Hut runs the risk of losing its traditional customers as well as confusing its audience with so many new messages and flavors. Brands should do thorough research before doing too much too soon and avoid branding fails such as Gap’s and others.
There are several questions you should answer before considering a rebrand, but at BIGfish we believe these to be the top 3:
1. What problem are we attempting to solve?
First things first, if there is no dire need to fix things, it’s not worth spending thousands of dollars on a rebrand. Identify the specific issue at hand. Do you need to adapt to consumer demands? Better address and reach a new audience? Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish, it is easier to set specific goals that will solve the problem in the long run. Measurable goals will keep you on track throughout the rebranding process and and help evaluate your success at the end.
2. What do we want to convey? To whom?
Identifying the issue and setting goals beforehand will help with the messaging process. Your messaging should be clear, concise and successful in conveying your new image. Your message should be your compass, guiding you through every step of the branding process. Also, recognizing your audience and what they want will help you develop a more useful and impactful message.
3. Will our rebrand stay within our company values and mission?
Lastly, and most importantly, keep your company values and mission in mind. Don’t do something just because competitors are or because a new fad has emerged. At the end of the day, your values are what built your brand. Will the rebrand in mind change the company image but still stick to core values, or will it make the company seem like another one altogether?
While it is still hard to say if Pizza Hut’s rebrand will be successful or not, they definitely have addressed several important, trending factors with new flavors, mobile apps and healthier options. The messaging that includes punny menu names, catchy slogans and appetizing images is also important to attract the target audience – millennials. Overall, we think they are headed in an interesting and successful direction. What do you think? Tweet us @BIGfishmarket!branding, pizza hut, rebrand, Rebranding
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BIGfish is an unconventional PR agency that helps its clients redefine their industries through thoughtful storytelling and strategic PR campaigns. By integrating traditional PR with social media and marketing support, BIGfish generates awareness and motivates consumer behavior.
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