Video games are big business … but not just for the game companies themselves. Gaming presents opportunities for all types of brands to connect with new audiences. If you’re wondering how your business might benefit from a presence in the video game world, this episode is for you.
We talk to Jamin Warren, Founder and CEO of Twofivesix, a company that connects its clients to the gaming community. We discuss how companies can reach gamers in an authentic way that doesn’t compromise their brand identity. Jamin gives his perspectives on the myths and stereotypes surrounding the gaming world and why buying into them could mean leaving money on the table.
[0:00:01] (Matt Reno): Hey, outlaws. It’s Matt Reno from Superkick Branding. And today we’re doing a little quick hit episode. We’re going to briefly talk about the Pepsi rebrand. They just made the first major changes to their logo since 2008. They’re going to be rolling it out this year as they celebrate their 125th anniversary. So we’re going to go over some of the strengths and weaknesses of that. Before we get into it, I want to remind you to go to thebrandoutlaw.com
[0:00:24] (Matt Reno): you download your free copy of the Buyer Persona Playbook. This is our guide for walking you through the process of building buyer Personas, which are great tools for you and your staff to have the best customer interactions. These are really going to help guide you toward having empathy for your customers, serving them the best way possible so that they become loyal customers. So, again, that’s at thebrandoutlaw.com
[0:00:51] (Matt Reno): all right, today we’re taking a look at the Pepsi rebrand, which was announced about a month ago. And the first thing you’re going to notice is it looks really familiar. It’s very different from what they’ve had since 2008. And I’m honestly not a huge fan of what they did in eight. I thought the blue was just kind of a corporate blue. I thought that mark where it was supposed to be smiling, it was like someone just drank a Pepsi and they’re like, yeah, I’m smirking because I’m loving Pepsi so much. It was just weird.
[0:01:25] (Matt Reno): Didn’t really work for me. The new branding really harkens back to the old branding. And that’s what I think of really when I think of Pepsi, I think of like when I was a little kid, camping trips. And I can vividly remember the old Pepsi logo, the old doritos packaging. You can tell where my head was at when I was out camping. So those are images that are ingrained in my memory. So I really like that they’re going back to it without completely going retro. You know, Burger King a couple years ago went really hard on the retro vibe, and I think it worked.
[0:02:00] (Matt Reno): I hated the logo that they had been using since I think it was 1999. That one that looked like some.com business that started in 99 and then was bankrupt by 2000. They went back to what was working before. They just had like a very retro, nostalgic vibe. Pepsi, it goes back, but it also moves forward, which is something I really like. So let’s break down some of the elements of Pepsi’s latest branding. So the most noticeable aspect is a change to the red, white and blue waves within the circle. Now, that’s an iconic look. Pepsi started that when they rebranded in 1950.
[0:02:42] (Matt Reno): And it’s something that’s carried on up until today, except it had a major tweak in 2008 where it curved the waves and like I said, did that satisfied smile kind of thing, which was clever, I guess, but a little too subtle to have the impact that they were going for. So I didn’t really like that. I thought it was too subtle. You didn’t really know what they were going for unless you read that ridiculously long winded brand guide that you can find on Reddit right now. Seriously, search for that. And it’s kind of a hilarious read about how this 2008 Pepsi logo came about. But anyway, back to 2023, they’re reverting back to bold waves, and it just gives this logo a bolder, more confident look that it hasn’t had in the last 15 years.
[0:03:37] (Matt Reno): That, right off the bat, is a big win for this Rebrand. Another major changes in the type. Again, in 2008, they made a huge change to the way the word Pepsi was presented in the logo on the packaging, the lowercase PE P Si. It was again taking away more of that boldness that had been with the brand for decades. Now they’re bringing that back. It’s all caps. It looks like a custom font. I can’t place it if it is anything different, but I would imagine that they were customizing it to make it more proprietary, which is a smart move. But it’s back to all caps. It’s more angular, geometric, and just overall a lot stronger than what they’ve had for the past 15 years. A lot easier to spot on store shelves as well, which is really important in food and beverage industry.
[0:04:30] (Matt Reno): And when you look at the branding as a whole, you can see that with the new configuration of the waves, the type can be worked into the logo or it can be left out very easily either way. So that adds to logo’s flexibility. And of course, you always want a logo that’s very flexible and can be used in multiple applications. Next, I want to talk about the colors. Again, more boldness than it had before.
[0:04:56] (Matt Reno): I didn’t like the blue of the 2008 Rebrand. It was kind of a corporate blue, honestly. And it was just way too tame to compete with other beverages in the market. But now they’ve got a darker, more saturated blue than before and of course, still keeping that red and white. And there’s also a heavy reliance on black. Now, why are they doing this? Well, it’s about more than aesthetics because for years, Pepsi, along with Coca Cola, have been using black to represent zero sugar drinks.
[0:05:32] (Matt Reno): And so, including this color in its primary branding, pepsi is signaling this strategic focus on its zero sugar line because it knows that consumers today are looking for healthier beverage options. Now, just to be clear, is it really healthier? Is a zero sugar soda really healthy? Personally, I don’t think it is. If I’m going to drink a sugary beverage, I’m just going to have the regular sugar rather than the chemical sweeteners.
[0:06:02] (Matt Reno): Okay? So let’s be honest with ourselves. Soda, it’s not healthy no matter how you drink it. If you’re drinking Diet Pepsi, zero sugar you’re fooling yourself. Okay, but let’s be honest. A lot of people fool themselves and think that these beverages are healthier. So Pepsi is leaning into that and having more of a focus on their zero sugar, I guess I should say their quote, zero sugar drinks. So is adding a fourth color to their primary branding a great move?
[0:06:36] (Matt Reno): It’s fine. I think fewer than four colors would actually help with the simplicity of the logo, but from a strategic perspective, it makes sense. Also, it does work well with the overall branding. It just gives a darker, bolder vibe, and it lets the red and the white stand out. The blue kind of blends into the black a little bit until you get into some of the secondary branding. Some of these background patterns that they have, they lighten up the blue on some of it. So that looks pretty cool. Overall, I think the colors are good, and I get the strategy behind it. And speaking of those secondary elements, I am liking the backgrounds that they have way more than that corporate blue background that they have been using.
[0:07:22] (Matt Reno): I think these radiating circles and lines just conveys a lot more boldness, a lot more confidence than they’ve had for a long time. And that was much needed for the Pepsi brand. So I’m really cool with these circles emanating from the logo, and I think they’ve given themselves permission to be creative with that part of the branding. So I think we’re going to see more than just what was launched here.
[0:07:48] (Matt Reno): I’m sure they’re going to find lots of ways to add these dynamic yet simple elements to the logo, and they’re not going to feel dated 10, 15, 20 years from now. So overall, yeah, I’m going to say the Pepsi 2023 rebrand has been a winner. Now we’ll see what happens as it rolls out, because what’s really going to determine its success is if people are buying it in increasing numbers, how is this going to help them compete with Coca Cola? I really think it will help. I’m pretty confident that this new Pepsi branding is going to help them stand out, differentiate themselves from Coca Cola. I also think it’s going to help them stand out on the shelves. There’s a lot of beverages competing, not just soda, energy drinks and all kinds of stuff competing for people’s attention.
[0:08:41] (Matt Reno): And so this is really going to help Pepsi a lot more than the previous branding that they’ve had. So I like it. I like that it goes back to the past, but it’s not a total nostalgia play. It’s moving the brand forward. I think this is really going to help. All right, what do you think? What do you think about this new Pepsi branding? Is it moving the brand forward? Is it going backwards too much and relying too much on nostalgia, being lazy?
[0:09:08] (Matt Reno): I want to see your comments. Drop them below. And please, like subscribe share and make sure you get your free copy of the buyer persona playbook by going to thebrandoutlaw.com I’m Matt Reno from Superkick Branding and we will talk again soon on the brand Outlaw.