3 Hot Takes on Brand Moves This Week
Do they make sense?
1/ Dunkin Donuts → Dunkin is a smart move
Given their focus has shifted away from donuts and their plans to expand to the west coast it makes total sense to me that they would step away from continuing to anchor their brand in donuts. You typically don’t want to change your name to chase a fad but let’s face it, everyone already calls it “Dunkin’” and they’ve only said “Dunkin’” in their ads since 2006. Some are saying that donuts are their differentiator. Ok, so maybe when there’s a backlash against the wellness movement maybe they’ll regret the change but really, that’s not likely. Speaking of the wellness movement…
2/ Weight Watchers → WW is not a great move but won’t be bad long-term
Weight Watchers wants to escape the gravitational pull of “diets” and get on the wellness rocket. Which makes sense. People are finally wising up to the idea that a single diet is not the answer and lifestyle change is. The problem with the name change, short-term, is that WW will stand for Weight Watchers for anyone aware of the brand up until now. But that won’t last forever and, over time, they can change the brand definition by consistently applying the concept of wellness across all touchpoints. It all comes down that - execution and consistency.
3/ Uber → Uber…making the right moves?
This one is a little tougher to call. A few years ago, I wrote about how then CEO Travis Kalanick’s redesign of the logo and other graphics was a disaster. Not because the design was bad but because it was rooted in what they felt as opposed to based on a defined brand. Clearly, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is out to change things at Uber. He started with an apology campaign and is now busy working things out behind the scenes like settling this lawsuit over a data breach in 2016. And shaping Uber into a last-mile company. He’s also overseen yet another redesign of the logo. On it’s own, I would say that this is just another attempt at using design to paper over the fact that they don’t have a defined brand position. But when slotted in with everything else Uber is doing, this seems like it is intended as a signal. That they are different brand than before, friendlier and more approachable. If we see that play out across everything they do like marketing, feature development, driver relations, etc., we’ll know it is rooted in a real brand position (finally!)