Branding is one of the most important aspects of the success of any business. It would be difficult to think of Marvel without their larger than life characters with their bright colored costumes, their ideals, and human flaws. It would be even harder to imagine Apple without thinking of their clean simple designs and their “it just works” operating system. But, how about this? What happens with a brand strategy over time? Things change. Public opinions change and evolve.
The Nike brand is currently making a stand regarding its own ideals by continuing their relationship with Colin Kaepernick during Nike’s own 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. What is brand strategy? Simply put, it’s developing a signifier that separates your company from the rest of the pack while letting that same signifier develop over time. Below we’ll discuss how three different companies have adjusted their branding over time.
Coke or Pepsi? Everybody’s got an opinion on which is the superior soft drink. There are superficial differences between the two. Coke favors a red and white logo, while Pepsi uses a red, white, and blue logo. Coke has a sweet taste and Pepsi is, generally, a little sweeter. Now, Pepsi is looking to venture even further into healthier food offerings. SodaStream was recently purchased by Pepsi for 3.2 billion dollars. If you don’t know SodaStream, they let users add carbonation to water along with syrups that change the flavor. It’s a healthier option than purchasing soda at the store and more convenient as well. There was a recent boycott with SodaStream due to their operating in West Bank, but they have since moved facilities. Pepsi’s soda is not the healthiest drinking option, but they are providing a healthier option to customers thus updating their lifestyle brands.
Who doesn’t love animal crackers? They’re shaped like circus animals, they’re tasty, and their box looks like a circus boxcar with animals inside. But wait! That part has always felt a little off. Circuses have a very long and sad history of abuse and exploitation with their animals. Which is why the team at Nabisco have decided to redesign their packaging. After significant pressure from animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Nabisco is updating their brand. The cookies still taste amazing, and their boxes now feature animals walking side by side without a bar in sight. With circuses banned in almost one hundred cities around the country and Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus folding after 146 years, it’s clear that times are changing. Nabisco is doing what they can to change with the times.
Plastic bags are the worst. When you go to the store, all you want to do is get your Pepsi and your animal crackers and go home. But, you wait in a long line, and then they double bag your two items in plastic bags. You try to remember to say something, but the person behind the counter is already in muscle memory mode and double bagging your two items. Enter Kroger. Kroger has announced that they will no longer be using single-use plastic bags in order to curtail plastic waste. A number of other chains have already started to go without plastic bags including Ralphs and Harris Teeter, and now Kroger is joining the pack. Per the EPA, almost 400 billion plastic bags are used in the United States annually. These bags break down into microplastic that enters into our water system and marine life. California has banned these bags, and it won’t be long before the rest of the country follows suit.
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