Why the secret to a strong brand isn’t a logo

* 2 min read

Are Pepsi really being that ‘brave’ for removing their logo from packs in their latest campaign? At a time when Coke are personalising bottles and Snickers are dropping their name in favour of their marketing campaign tagline, it hardly seems like pushing the boundaries.

They’re retaining their brand colour and their bottle shape, and supporting the change with a massive marketing campaign. 

Brands are built on so many elements; colour, pack format, even the colour of the product inside the packaging. So how far can you strip a brand back before it is no longer recognisable?

It’s a concept Selfridge’s toyed with back in 2013, when it launched its ‘No Noise’ campaign. It removed its logo from its iconic yellow bags and encouraged other big names like Levi’s, Beats by Dr Dre and Marmite to strip back their branding until only the bare minimum remained.

Their aim was to bring a sense of peace and tranquility to shoppers who are constantly bombarded with brand messages, but what it proved was that brands are built on so much more than a logo.

Of course, as a creative business, we know how to make your brand come to life through creative, photography and typography, and we can advise you on how much (or how little) you need on pack to make your brand stand out.

But we also have our own in-house packaging specialists, because we know how important pack format is in building brand equity.

Take Innocent’s fresh juice bottles. Instantly recognisable and infinitely valuable as part of their brand equity. Pick up a long, triangular cardboard box in the chocolate aisle and you know it’s a Toblerone. And a square bottle filled with yellow cream is obviously Clinique with absolutely no design on pack.

So our advice would always be to choose your pack wisely, and go bespoke if you can. You never know, it could be a future icon.

But probably the most important tool in a brand’s toolkit is its colour. When Coke launched Coke Life, there was something about the green variant colour that jarred with the master brand and the other products in the Coke family; probably because it felt so removed from the brand’s established palette.

And green Heinz ketchup? It just didn’t work.

So, although Pepsi haven’t been particularly ‘brave’, they have been pretty savvy, because they understand which elements of their brand need to remain and which can flex. And that knowledge and confidence is a really powerful tool for any brand.