The U-Turn of the Kraft Logo
The frequent change of logos shows the lack of confidence plus a poor understanding of the target customers
Kraft, the multinational food conglomerate, updated its corporate logo in 2009. The new design was meant to differentiate the company’s branding from that of Kraft Foods, whose goods can be purchased in most supermarkets.
The new company logo was a confusing jumble of different elements that didn’t go together. A nod to the old logo, the red underlining, meant to evoke the expression of happiness, was designed to look like a smile with “a colourful flavour burst” at the end of it. It represented the firm’s pledge to provide customers with “delicious” products. It’s hard to make sense of the logo because of all the many colours, typefaces, and other elements it uses.
The quirky Tekton typeface was used for the slogan. The “smile” looks more like something you’d see in the results of amateurish work.
The logo was met with disapproval from the moment it was unveiled. It’s no surprise the firm went ahead and changed it a short time later.
Differentiating the brand logo from the company logo makes sense to me. It was clear that a split was necessary. On the other hand, the new logo was not up to par. To begin with, the company’s name was buried deep amid the chaos. You may even say that the company’s name is tacked on.
The rebranding of Kraft Foods’ 2009 rebranding.
Five months after the first revamp, a new, streamlined logo was released. The wordmark components were given equal weight, the “smile and vivid flavour explosion” were shifted to the left, and the corny slogan was given a somewhat more elegant typeface. But while the corporation did all in its power to restore the reputation of the brand, the harm was already done.
A new corporate logo was introduced in 2012 along with the division of Kraft Foods Inc. into Mondelez International, which would handle international snack sales, and Kraft Foods Group, which would handle sales inside the United States. The new identity was essentially a reversion to the old one, consisting of a deeper blue version of the familiar title case san-serif wordmark.
As to why it didn’t work:
There had been a lot of changes together. To avoid confusion, they switched to lowercase letters. They went for a whole different colour palette. They tagged on a catchphrase. The term “Kraft” is the lone constant; everything else had changed significantly.
The addition of distracting, unimportant details. There doesn’t seem to be any deeper meaning to the bright grin and explosion of colour. It doesn’t stand out in any way. If they had changed just one thing or taken anything away, they could have had better results.