Tag Archives: logos

More Branding Needs to be Changed

All marketers know that branding is hard to do, and expensive to change. Thus, many brands are reluctant to revise their logos, names, and images. After all, if it’s worked for decades; why go through the trouble and expense to change it now?

The short answer to that question is that society and the world changes (sometimes drastically) and therefore companies have a responsibility to respond to and recognize those events and make changes in order to stay relevant in the marketplace.

A recent topic is that of the use of the name “Jeep Cherokee.” The Chief of the Cherokee Nation has strongly stated that it is wrong of the company to use the Cherokee name to sell cars, and has asked Jeep to discontinue the name.  The Cherokee name belongs to a nation of peoples and they contend that using it for peddling products diminishes it. Jeep has sold the Cherokee vehicle since 1974 and retired it in the early 2000s, then reviving it in 2014. It is a popular model and sold more than 200,000 units last year.

This topic brings to mind the issue of the (former) Washington Redskins NFL team. The team has agreed to drop the name and logo after years of protest, as have MLB team Cleveland Indians. Similar protests last year were made against brands including Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s. Land O’Lakes already dropped its image of a Native American woman from its packaging.

Brands matter.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a tough topic, but discuss racism in business with students. Ask them their views.
  2. Poll students: What products, services, and brands use racist stereotypes?
  3. Discuss the issue of the Jeep Cherokee and show video: https://youtu.be/D6ZrRbS-yxs
  4. Show Jeep Cherokee site: https://www.jeep.com/cherokee.html
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team reimagine a new name and message for the company.
  6. How would they overhaul the image if they were in charge of marketing at the company?
  7. Show all the student solutions and debrief the exercise.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Turn Bags into Eye-Catching Branding

Have you noticed that some businesses are getting rid of plastic bags? Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you are too busy figuring out how to store or get rid of your own growing plastic bag collection! The average family gains 60 plastic bags in four trips to the grocery store.

Make no mistake – plastic bags are indeed a problem for the environment. According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags and sacks are used annually in the U.S. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, at an estimated $4 billion cost to retailers.  It’s not just the cost that raises eyebrows – plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris found most often in coastal cleanups.

However, only eight states ban single-use plastic bags; 14 other states have laws that protect the bags. Why so few bans? A combination of factors including deep-pockets of the chemical industry and the political influence of retailers and restaurants account for plastic bag sales of roughly $1.4 billion in the U.S. alone.

As a result of the widespread proliferation of bags, lawmakers across the U.S. are banning or considering banning single-use plastic bags. Replacements include reusable bags which can also provide retailers with a great opportunity to expand their brand awareness as well as lessen negative environmental impacts. This, of course, present marketers with a place to make an impact for the environment and the store brand.

What’s your favorite bag to carry?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Name stores that use their own bags instead of non-branded plastic bags.
  2. Plastic bag facts: https://conservingnow.com/plastic-bag-consumption-facts/
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a store that currently uses non-reusable plastic bags.
  4. Each team should next design a reusable shopping bag for these stores.
  5. Have each team present their design in class.
  6. Vote on the winners.

Source:  Ad Week; Conserving Now; Politico

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Dunkin’ Drops the Donuts from its Branding

What’s the importance of a brand name? Brands have value. Brands help to define a company, its values and products, and branding builds an image in the minds of consumers. If a consumer hears “Nike,” or “North Face,” or “Luluemon” it immediate builds a picture in the consumer’s mind of that brand. So, when an established company undertakes rebranding, it had better be prepared for a lot of work and time to establish the new brand. The rebranding can be incredibly expensive and risky.

The latest rebranding is a move from “Dunkin’ Donuts” to just “Dunkin’.” The company claims that it has been on a first-name basis with its fan for a long time, and that its customers have long referred to the brand as Dunkin’, making this a natural fit. The original pink and orange colors of the logo, along with the original font, have been retained in the new logo, helping to retain the brand recognition.

Dropping the “Donuts” raises the question about whether Dunkin’ will be moving away from its core product in favor of a newer food menu (croissants, bagels?). The company claims that donuts are still a key focus for Dunkin’.

Dunkin’ isn’t the only brand to shorten its name. Recently, Weight Watchers shortened its name to WW, using the tagline “Wellness that Works” to help explain the rebranding. And, many people still erroneously refer to Kentucky Fried Chicken with its full name, even though it became KFC in the early 1990s.

It’s hard to change consumers’ habits.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding.
  2. Using the Top 100 Global Brands list as reference, poll students about the top 10 global brands: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2018/ranking/.
  3. Which brands do they think have been able to gain mind share? How?
  4. View the Dunkin’ Donuts web site: https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en
  5. What should the company do to roll out the new brand standards to consumers?

Source:  Advertising Age, New York Times, other news sources



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