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Revitalizing Legacy: Billion-Dollar Brands Investing Heavily to Transform from Stale to Chic

"Adapting to Taste Trends: Billion-Dollar Brands Like Coors and Jello-O Embrace Transformation in the Ever-Changing Consumer Landscape

In the dynamic realm of consumer preferences, iconic brands such as Coors and Jello-O are undergoing revitalization efforts to captivate new audiences. Coors, with a rich history spanning 150 years, has weathered various transformations, from surviving Prohibition to becoming an aluminum can innovator. However, the brand is once again reshaping its identity in response to a shifting reality: declining beer consumption among US consumers.

In a market saturated with hard seltzers, spirits, and a myriad of alcohol-free fizzy beverages, the beer industry is experiencing a noticeable dip. Recent data from the Brewers Association reveals a 5% or 2.2 million-barrel decline in US volume for Molson Coors, the multinational company behind Coors, Miller, Blue Moon, and Keystone Light. Executives acknowledge the impact of evolving consumer "lifestyle choices" and the overall softness in the beer industry, yet remain optimistic about the future.

Molson Coors, strategically prepared for these changes, has steered its product lineup toward burgeoning categories like whiskey and energy drinks. The company's major brands are on an upward trajectory in both sales and market share. As consumer preferences continue to evolve, brands find themselves in a perpetual state of reinvention, making adjustments ranging from subtle tweaks to wholesale portfolio overhauls.

Deb Gabor, CEO of Sol Marketing and an expert in branding, emphasizes the subtle yet profound impact of rebrands when executed correctly. Whether it's a nuanced typeface adjustment or a complete image overhaul, successful rebrands create a deeper emotional connection with consumers. Starbucks, for example, exemplified this strategy by simplifying its logo, dropping the words "Starbucks Coffee" to create a globally recognizable icon.

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer culture, these billion-dollar brands demonstrate an unwavering appetite for evolution, ensuring their continued relevance and resonance with audiences."

"Reshaping in the Wake of Change: A Surge of Post-Pandemic Brand Revitalization

As the world emerges from the pandemic, there is a palpable wave of companies endeavoring to breathe new life into their brands, responding to the seismic shifts in consumers' lifestyles, habits, and priorities. Coors stands as just one example in a landscape where businesses face challenging markets and heightened competition. Bankrupt entities like Bed, Bath & Beyond and JCPenney undergo costly overhauls under new ownership, while toy giant Mattel saturates pop culture with all things Barbie, offering a fresh narrative to the iconic doll. Even stalwarts like Zoom and Pfizer roll out new logos to spotlight investments in accessibility and biopharma innovation.

Revitalizing a brand is no small feat; it's a time-intensive, expensive process, especially for global juggernauts operating across diverse channels. Yet, if executed adeptly, these transformations can resurrect a declining business or breathe new relevance into a legacy name for a fresh generation. A powerful brand not only sells products but establishes a connection with customers, attracts top talent, and appeals to investors.

However, the value gained through years of brand building also makes reinvention a risky venture. Leaders, recognizing the imperative to evolve, often approach major changes with caution. According to Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, a global creative consultancy with a track record including Starbucks, Samsung, Walmart, and Southwest Airlines, a measured and stewardship-focused approach is key. The initial step involves diagnosing where a brand is losing relevance or falling behind competitors. Subsequently, an assessment determines the role of messaging and presentation versus the actual product or service offered.

In this era of constant flux, the willingness to adapt, measured against the cherished history of a brand, becomes the tightrope that organizations walk as they navigate the delicate balance of evolution."

"Beyond Aesthetic Appeal: Navigating the Delicate Balance of Brand Evolution

In the realm of brand evolution, the significance of a new logo or campaign lies not merely in visual cues but in tangible improvements to the product or experience, according to industry experts. Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, emphasizes that surface-level changes should align with real enhancements, as consumers are quick to perceive authenticity. If a rebrand lacks substance, trust can erode instead of being reinforced.

Deb Gabor, founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that the most successful rebrands commence with a strategic foundation rather than a desire for a mere creative facelift. She underscores the importance of actions speaking louder than marketing efforts, reinforcing the notion that a brand's evolution should reflect substantive progress.

Reflecting on Lippincott's collaboration with Starbucks a decade ago, Wise notes the strategic approach taken during the coffee giant's international expansion and diversification beyond coffee. The controversial decision to remove "Starbucks Coffee" from the logo and focus on the iconic siren symbol was met with initial resistance, yet it has since been lauded as a successful rebrand that withstood the test of time.

Not all rebrands fare as well; cautionary tales include Gap's brief foray into a Helvetica font logo and Tropicana's ill-fated departure from its signature packaging. Unlike these missteps, Starbucks' thoughtful evolution set the stage for subsequent business developments, product launches, and store remodels.

Beyond internal transformations, rebrands serve as invitations to new audiences. Jell-O's recent redesign, characterized by vibrant colors, a playful font, and glossy imagery, is hailed as a strategic move to engage younger consumers. The delicate balance of risk and reward in brand evolution remains a constant challenge, requiring a blend of strategic foresight and a commitment to substantive improvements, ensuring that a brand's journey resonates authentically with its audience."

"Crafting a Vibrant Future: The Strategic Evolution of Heritage Brands like Jell-O and Coors

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences, heritage brands are undertaking strategic transformations to captivate new generations. Jell-O, founded in 1845 and last rebranded in 2013, is embracing a fresh, playful design to resonate with the exuberant branding that Gen Z is drawn to. Heather Johnson Dretsch, an assistant professor of marketing at North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management, applauds this move, noting that the art on Jell-O's packaging effectively captures the fun and playfulness associated with the product.

Meanwhile, Coors, with a rich history dating back 150 years, is adopting a multipronged approach to conquer new markets. Its parent company, Molson Coors Beverage Company, has diversified beyond beer, incorporating Coors Spirits Co, which includes in-house brands like Five Trail whiskey and Barmen 1873 bourbon. Noteworthy acquisitions, such as the premium bourbon brand Blue Run Spirits and investments in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's energy drink brand Zoa, showcase the company's commitment to exploring new horizons.

Furthermore, Coors is leveraging its beer brands by delving into its historical uniqueness, such as its limited distribution until the early 1980s, which lends it a distinct cultural cachet. An anniversary campaign and a partnership with the hit television series Yellowstone exemplify the company's strategic fusion of history and innovation. Even Blue Moon is undergoing a refresh with new packaging and a non-alcoholic line to cater to the growing demand for booze-free options.

Deb Gabor, branding expert and CEO of Sol Marketing, acknowledges the risks inherent in rebrands, emphasizing that companies undertake such endeavors when faced with declining sales or market share. However, she commends Coors for its thoughtful approach, preserving meaningful elements of the brand while innovating in new directions. In essence, Coors is revitalizing its legacy, making what was old new again, and charting a course into the future with a blend of nostalgia and innovation."

"In the dynamic arena of brand evolution, the stories of Jell-O and Coors reflect a strategic dance between heritage and innovation. Jell-O, with its roots dating back to 1845, embraces a vibrant redesign to connect with the playful spirit of Gen Z, showcasing the enduring relevance of a classic brand. On the other hand, Coors, a stalwart with 150 years of history, embarks on a multipronged journey, diversifying beyond beer and seamlessly blending tradition with novelty.

As these brands navigate the delicate balance of preserving their legacy and embracing change, the overarching theme is one of thoughtful evolution. From Jell-O's visual makeover capturing the essence of fun to Coors' strategic forays into new markets while honoring its historical uniqueness, these companies demonstrate resilience and adaptability.

In the world of rebrands, success is not guaranteed, but the trajectory of Jell-O and Coors suggests a careful interplay of nostalgia and innovation. They are not merely rewriting their narratives; instead, they are crafting a vibrant future by marrying tradition with the expectations of contemporary consumers. The journey into the future involves risks, challenges, and a commitment to meaningful evolution, echoing the sentiment that, in the realm of branding, making what was old new again is an art form mastered by those willing to embrace change while preserving the essence of what made them iconic in the first place."