With little success, Pizza Hut rebranded as Pasta Hut and later as The Hut. The renaming did not resonate with the customers
In 2009–2010, Yum! Brands seemingly could not stay away from tinkering with the Pizza Hut name.
It was in 2009 when Pizza Hut establishments in the United Kingdom “rebranded” as Pasta Hut.
The “trial” rebranding effort was first announced as a complete name change to reflect the health-conscious times. However, it soon became clear that the effort was just meant to show off the brand’s selection of pasta meals.
Customers were given a “vote” to cast in favour of keeping the previous name or adopting the new one. It was declared in January that the new pasta meals would stay on the menus, although 81% of British customers questioned preferred the original name. The same thing had occurred in the United States a few months before, so it wasn’t too shocking.
The marketing drive for Pasta Hut failed. Mainly because it disregarded one of the cardinal laws of any successful marketing campaign: never, ever attempt to mislead the target audience. You may still surprise consumers with a teaser campaign or viral, but don’t try to pass off a publicity stunt as true brand innovation.
Understandably, you would want to attract more customers by offering a wider variety of foods. It’s a wonderful touch to poll customers about whether or not they still believe the brand should be named Pizza Hut if the menu has been significantly altered.
But if this is going to be a short-lived effort, you shouldn’t promote it as a strategic name change “to signal the advent of a new era.”
If you want people to take your brand seriously in the future, this kind of thing will backfire. That you are more interested in spin than content will be obvious to them. People are quick to write off marketing efforts as superficial and pointless, and this just serves to bolster this stereotype.
Pizza Hut’s packaging underwent some fairly fascinating innovations that year, with the company announcing in the United States that it would forego the use of artificial ingredients and instead use a box constructed from 40% recycled material.
After the success of “The Natural” pizza, the company began standardizing its toppings across all of its products.
Essentially, this is the kind of breakthrough that helps people. It’s encouraging to know that the next time they order an extra large American pizza, they can do it with peace of mind.
A lot of people were confused when just a year after the firm rebranded itself from Pasta Hut to The Hut. After operating as Pizza Hut or Pasta Hut for a year, the company seemed to be trying out a new moniker.
The chief marketing officer of Pizza Hut in the United States said that The Hut was not meant to replace Pizza Hut, but rather to serve as a “vocabulary term” that shortens the brand name for an impatient text-savvy adolescent market.
The “Hut TV” digital television network was also built in certain locations. The service is now available at twenty-four locations and will expand to other shops in 2010. It was supposed to amuse people as they waited in line and advertise discounts.
Yum! Brands was attempting to modernise its image in an era where childhood obesity is a constant news topic and where there are several restaurants suitable for families. It had realised well that success was not a time for complacency. Changing the name is not the answer.
Indeed, “Pizza Hut” is a great brand name. The significance of a name lies in the meaning it conveys. The fact that Starbucks offers more than just coffee is something that customers readily recognize. Likewise, I think we can all agree that Pizza Hut is capable of being much more than simply a place to buy pizza.
Pizza Hut had to stop obsessing about its brand and start advertising the things that are actually important to families. For example, make a big deal out of the fact that it uses all-natural products so that parents can feel good about having their children there at a reasonable price.