The good people at Pepsico have seen fit to redesign the logo for their cornerstone brand, Pepsi. In this post, Gawker estimates that the total cost of rolling out the redesign at several hundred million dollars (for all you math fans out there, that's about .1% of the bailout package).
You might call this smart marketing: refreshing a brand that can easily get stale on store shelves AND making it look suspiciously similar to the logo used by our new president-elect. Or, you might think it's a waste of money that won't have much real affect on the brand's performance or consumers' perception of said brand. After all, says you, a logo is not a brand, but one small piece of the puzzle that makes up the elusive emotional connection a company seeks to create with its audience.
Me? I call it corporate malpractice. I think of all the things Pepsi can be doing to build meaningful, perhaps even lasting relationships with consumers by putting some of that money to good use supporting the culture people really care about. For example, for just a small fraction of what they're going to spend on the re-brand, here are just some of the ways they could Rebelize their brand:
- Sponsor just about every nightclub in every major market in the United States, possibly saving the club business, which is surely taking a major hit through the recession, and make it a lot harder for Coke to continue owning on-premise consumption in the process.
- Build a Pepsi Music label, creating a bona fide entertainment company on par with any of the major record companies, except without all the PR baggage and distribution nightmares.
- Create a chain of community centers all over the country with fun, safe, educational and entertaining activities for kids and teens, entrenching itself in youth culture and giving a tremendous amount back to a crucial audience segment.
- Purchase the world's largest record collection, immediately giving Pepsi something interesting to talk about with millions of music fans all over the world. We could turn it into a museum, and keep the current owner on as curator. This is a massive PR, experiential, and online play that just requires a little bit of money, which apparently Pepsi has plenty of.
Those are just a few examples off the dome. The good news is Pepsi would still have a few hundred million left to blow on things like a shiny new logo that nobody is going to care about.
I guess Pepsi figures if this doesn't work, it can always appeal to the government for a bailout.