About the Steve O Zone


Sunday, October 24, 2010

8 o'clock coffee decides it's time to change their logo

I realize my last name's not Ogilvy or Arnell but it is Olenski which means I come from a long line of supermarket workers - specifically the A&P food chain. All of my brothers, my sister, my wife and some of my sisters-in-law all followed in our father's footsteps.

I also have an advertising background so I come at this from a different perspective than others...

What I am referring to is this...

Yes, it seems the powers that be in charge of the Eight O'Clock Coffee brand have decided it's time to change. It's time to turn their back on over 100 years of brand equity.

You do remember brand equity, right?

The one definition I like is "refers to the marketing effects or outcomes that accrue to a product with its brand name compared with those that would accrue if the same product did not have the brand name"

So, all that "accruing" that took place over all those years is being discarded like, well, coffee grounds...

I realize this logo change is not on the same earth-shattering levels as these recent debacles...




... but to this former stock clerk/cashier/assistant manager it marks the end of a truly iconic brand. I'm sure the big wigs at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co,. (or whatever they're called now) will tell us they did all their due diligence, had focus groups, etc...

Or then again... maybe they won't tell us that. Maybe they just didn't care what you think.

Tropicana obviously didn't care about the public... that is until the public spoke up...

For those as not familiar with the A&P history, they were at one point one of the largest employers in the world... yes, the world.

But they failed to sustain such an impressive and lofty status. The reasons are many and in fact you can read all about A&P and its fall from grace in the Jim Collins' book, Good To Great.

Here's an excerpt of one person's review of the book that deals specifically with A&P and its chief rival at the time, Kroger:

"Using the example of an extended comparative analysis of Kroger and A & P, Collins observes that Kroger recognized the trend towards modernization in the grocery industry and adjusted its business model accordingly, although doing so required a complete transformation of the company and its stores. A & P, on the other hand, resisted large-scale change, and thus guaranteed its own demise."

So I can't help but wonder if similar forces are still at work within in the internal machinations with A&P. 

Yes, creating a new logo would fall under the "required a complete transformation" argument but not at the sake of turning your back on - in my humble opinion - an American retail icon... the Eight O'Clock Coffee brand.

What do you think?

Do you like the new Eight O'Clock logo?

Are you brand/logo loyal to ANY thing?

Or do you not care?

Do you take the approach of "if a company could care less about me, why should I care about them?"

Do you believe that "As long as the product inside is the same, what's the difference?"

Til next time,

Share/Bookmark

8 comments:

Fred said...

MarketingProfs just had a little article about a study showing that people are reassured by nostalgia, especially in precarious times, so changing a look that's so powerfully seated seems especially audacious right now.

Steve Olenski... said...

Interesting study Fred... I will definitely have to check that out.

I can see the validity in believing people being reassured via nostalgia and yes it does seem quite odd to change the logo now...

Thanks for sharing your insights!
Steve O

Michael Demarest said...

A brand has to stay current - tweaking a logo/look to do so is a common solution. However, making your product virtually unrecognizable may not be a smart decision.

Steve, what do you think of the Seattle's Best Coffee logo change?

Steve Olenski... said...

Hi Michael,

Dont like the new Seattle's Best Coffee logo at all. Looks like they're a recycling company or something. Or a water processing plant or something like that... does NOT look like a coffee brand at all.

Shame too cause the original logo is classic.

Thanks for chiming in Michael!
Steve O

Andrea said...

I actually think this is a good example of updating a look/logo without losing the accrued brand equity. Tropicana and Gap, just threw everything away and went with a whole new, meaningless (and lame) look, but the Eight O'Clock Coffee redesign manages to look clean and modern, while still referencing the old look, through the similar (but more streamlined) font, and the use of the same colors and coffee bean image on the packaging--just laid out differently. Sometime change is a good thing and in this case, I think it's very clever and really works. (Still wouldn't drink the coffee if you paid me!)

Steve Olenski... said...

Hi Andrea,

We will agree to disagree because I (obviously) do not agree that the new logo "manages to look clean and modern, while still referencing the old look"

It may look clean-er and more modern but it loses its entire heritage and brand equity, AKA the old look.

As for drinking it... well I am a massive coffee-imbiber and I like the taste of it so again, we will agree to disagree... :)

Thanks for chiming!
Steve O

Active Integrated Marketing said...

Well put Steve! I also "grew up' in the business (both A&P and marketing) and it's sad to see that brand "go." I hope they did more market research than The Gap did! I'm waiting for 8 o'clock coffee to come out with k-cups...

Steve Olenski... said...

Hi Angela!

Great to hear from you!

Something tells me they didnt do the prerequisite research you mention... just a gut feeling.

Hope things are well and all the best!

Steve O