Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wendy's gets with the times - but should they?

I'm a MASSIVE fan of rebranding, but I'm in two minds in this case.

Wendy's has revealed it's new logo for 2013 - our gal Wendy remains but the font has changed to a kind of Sharpie style. 

Here's what we've had for the last 30 years:

Certainly, 30 years is a bloody long time to go without rebranding and young Wendy has been a bit imprisoned there in that frame - but I'm going to miss their old font.  Look again at the cool typography for the word Wendy's:


We're living in this time where new companies are trying to look vintage.  It lends a certain "cool factor" and authenticity.  When "Old Fashioned Hamburgers" is your thing and you've been around since 1969, why do a common-looking font?

Here's why:

Wendy's Chief Marketing Officer told NRN that "All great brands evolve, and we’re evolving," and when asked why they have removed the "Old Fashioned Hamburgers" tagline, he replied:  "...gosh, we certainly sell a lot of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, but we also are leaders in innovation in chicken, we’re leaders in salads. We felt we needed to reflect our product line of today and where we need to be in the future."

From everything I've read, they're admirably serious about moving Wendy's forward - and that in itself for a company is awesome (compared to yesterday's article I wrote on Kodak).  The rebranding initiative covers free wifi, fireplaces (how cool is that??  Hope they make it to NZ!) digital menu boards, a smartphone app focused on nutrition, calorie intake etc.

So despite my sadness to see the vintage typography demolished, I wholeheartedly applaud their attitude & how they came up with it.  They:

1.  Talked to Consumers
2.  Talked to Franchisees
3.  Identified the key elements they had to retain being:  Wendy, the Red, the Wave (the way the word "Wendy's" slants up)

Rebranding to this extent is certainly a bold move for them as they are kicking ass at the moment - they've found themselves elevated to the #2 spot for the first time, beating Burger King by $500million (meanwhile Macca's leaves them both in their wake by over $20billion, source: Technomic). 

Click to enlarge
Thank goodness the pigtails remain and that Wendy's didn't go for this guy's Wendy ideas...*shudder*

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