America’s Next Top Brand Model
Written on September 13, 2012.
We’re all getting older. And with age, comes the desire to, well, how do I put this delicately? With age comes the desire to make “changes.” You know, a little nip here, a tuck there, maybe a bit of botulism shot between the brow. Even the best of us, brand icons, for instance, are not immune to this.
That’s why PepsiCo, who owns the brand, gave the Quaker Oats man a face lift in an effort to reinvigorate the brand. Yes, you read that right. The Quaker Oats man got a hair cut and a face lift (no word on if he got his brow shaped) that included removal of his double chin, along with a new logo shape and color scheme.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Michael Connors, vice president of design for Hornall Anderson, Quaker’s brand design firm, said, “We took about five pounds off him.”
I’m not sure if this is continual process improvement, but it is paying attention to what is important in the marketplace. Oatmeal has changed from a food our grandparents thought was satisfying into a health food – something we eat because it’s whole grain and lowers our cholesterol, not because it “sticks to your ribs.”
Now, maybe it sounds as if I’m against this brand redesign, but I’m not. I think it’s important that businesses respond to the changing demographics and needs of their customers. Improving processes isn’t just about working faster or more efficiently, it’s also about understanding what your customers want, learning what the best way is to meet your customers’ needs, and delivering the product or service customers want. You can mine your data and respond to it internal, but unless you use it to take action, you risk becoming stagnant – offering the same old, same old.