There is an old sage that is commonly heard around conference room tables throughout corporate America. It doesn’t matter the industry or the product, just that the subject endeavor has achieved some level of greatness and a position of respect atop the list of those things recognized as optimally successful. Usually the company’s brand has replaced the established generic identifier for something we all use every day. Coke for cola, Popsicle for a frozen fruit treat or Hershey Bar for candy bar are just a few examples. How many more can you think of? The rules are simple. The brand has to be commonly associated as the identifier for a product which, if not for the iconic status of the leading brand, would be a common commodity. The achievement of iconic status surely would qualify for membership in the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” club, right?
Perhaps, but changes in design and style are emblematic to each new generation’s persona. A fundamental aspect of how iconic brands sustain greatness across generations is their willingness to implement changes to their image without impacting their long-standing legacy. Restyling a brand’s logo to reflect trending fashion is not uncommon, even for the great giants of marketing history. During their decades of market dominance, the big three auto makers; Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler modified their logos over time to reflect the changing style and fashion trends of each new generation of consumers; graphically altering the geometry of their established identifier to reflect the dynamic design trends of their products. But what about those products whose attributes are synonymous with success and where significant departure from current brand identity may be detrimental to the current market standing?
The Hershey Company, or Hershey as it is commonly known, was founded by Milton S. Hershey at the opening of the 20th century. An apprenticed candy maker, Milton survived multiple business failures before getting the process of making milk chocolate just right. Eventually his innovative formula for the sweet, milky candy was so popular that even the town of Derry Church, Pennsylvania, home to the emerging company’s first chocolate production facility, changed its name to Hershey. To this day, the town’s street lights that line the byways are topped with an image of the company’s famous chocolate kiss, that iconic drop of milk chocolate, wrapped in foil and topped with a whimsical Hershey flag. No label necessary, the image has been universally recognized as Hershey for more than a century, as are the tall, chocolate brown letters spelling out Hershey that are emblazoned across the wrapper of its “Great American Chocolate Bar”. Even the most modest of changes to such a monumental brand’s logo can elicit objection from marketing traditionalists, as it did when Hershey introduced the latest modifications to its visual identity.
As It has been a little more than five years since Hershey’s launched the most recent iteration, the marketing specialists at Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an award-winning strategic agency committed to creating high impact solutions for SMBs and Fortune 500 companies, wondered what future brand alterations may look like in order to attract a larger segment of Millennials and Generation Z’ers. Here are just a few of Junction’s ideas to refresh the design:
Changing attitudes concerning diet and fitness is one cornerstone difference in Millennials and Generation Z’ers. Associating an image of a younger consumer with the new, smaller portioned iconic candy bar under a bolder, updated font could draw more attention from the targeted audience. Capping the “S” in Hershey’s with the famous image of the chocolate kiss connects the chocolatier’s legacy to emerging generations of consumers.
Another playful graphic representation of incorporating the kiss image over a letter of the famous Hershey name produces a subliminal recognition within the minds of not only younger market segments but long-loyal fans of the product. The effort also connects the renewed logo to the existing brand image.
Just in case there are those totally oblivious to the purpose of the candy maker, a simple, visual depiction of the before and after candy making process can effectively communicate with little written content, a strategy most likely to be appreciated by the impatient, brevity loving, generations.
Well produced images are powerful communicators and illicit far more emotional responses from an audience than words alone. Presenting the range of product options in unison with the newly designed logo could cause a physical craving and could drive the viewer to reach for a sweet.
After all, sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes…well, you just don’t.
“When rebranding an iconic entity like Hershey’s, it’s important to remember that the goal is to refresh the brand’s image and reputation without impacting the historic significance of the brand. Hershey’s has a long-demonstrated reputation of getting the really important stuff right. Their market dominance over the past century stands as a testament to the quality of their products and resilience of the brand over multiple generations of consumers,” says Julie Gareleck, Founder and CEO of Junction.
For more ideas on how Junction’s team of designers and marketing strategists can renew and refresh your company’s image, call 678-686-1125.