These days I’m into branding. Logos. Due to the nature of what I get to do for a living and in pursuing my degree, I get to really evaluate things that maybe one wouldn’t stop to notice. I do it for work, for inspiration or sometimes, just because I have to.
This week I’ve been asked to look at logo redesigns that don’t work. It’s a pretty subjective concept at first blush, but when you begin to research any subject, you find that people usually come down pretty hard on one side or another. There are two ways to look at this.
1. Examine the logo and react strictly upon your impression and whether it works for you.
2. Ask yourself (objectively), “Does this image still represent the brand I’ve come to know and trust?”, “How does the redesign change the image of the company?”
I’m going with #2 for this assignment because a logo redesign doesn’t have to just look pretty or appealing. It’s important that all of the positive traits of the company still be exploited, while bringing a fresh, updated look. I’ve spoken here about the bomb of Tropicana’s redesign, when the public outcry resulted in a rush back to the old packaging. (See Daily Bone 9.3.09)
After a bit of research, it seems that DR undertook not only a complete redesign of the logo and signage but an overhaul of their overall brand, their offerings and their approach according to an interview I read on Brandweek with DR Chief Marketing Officer Joe Jackman. The firm DeVito/Verde was hired to spearhead the project. Just this week, the store introduced a new line of private label products called DR Delish and paired it with the new slogan, “Your City, Your Store”. By December, the goal is to have 100+ new items for sale under the DR umbrella – all being glueten free with no trans-fats, reduced calorie and made with natural ingredients. Some of these will (or do) include fresh sandwiches, new cosmetics and a Doctor on Premises program.
Example of new products/packaging:
Thus far, 30 of their 256 stores have been remodeled including a shift within the store of their products and placements of various inventory.
Personally and aesthetically, I like the new design as I think it looks more modern and simple. However, when I ask myself the questions above, I have to agree with the popular consensus that the redesign does not meet the objectives of brand recognition. I couldn’t find a good image of the new storefront, which is a complete departure from the two images shown here, using all grays and silvers, giviing a pretty futuristic and cold effect.
In my opinion the old logo was outdated and in need of a redesign, but the brand is going to now have to fight a bit to win back some great traction that they had with their customers. They should’ve kept a greater portion of the elements in the old logo, such as color or the interlocking letters.
What do you think? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Does the redesign make any sense to you? These are important questions when undertaking the branding of a company, especially one that has been around for 40+ years.
Here’s a link to a great article that was posted on Brandweek.com if you’d like to get some insights as to why the brand was redesigned and the philosophy behind their new offerings.
Jackman maintains that the campaign thus far has been successful, however I have found comments posted online by Duane Reade customers who have a different opinion, stating that the relocation of products within their store has left them confused. Another big complaint is that the staff at Duane Reade is not knowledgeable, friendly or willing to help when asked. Customer Service seems to be a huge complaint and now that consumers have many other choices such as Walgreens and CVS, they are inclined to go elsewhere. Those are items that no amount of “redesign” can fix but maybe their new products and look will generate enough buzz to bring people in and make them want to remain there.
Time will tell.