|Left: Old logo. Right: New logo.
By now, you’ve probably heard the news that ice cream brand Baskin-Robbins changed its logo and overall branding. And while you may be a fan of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, are you a fan of the new logo? The question for the brand to answer is this: Does the new look successfully reflect a new direction for the brand? Only time will tell, but let’s not forget that customer experience remains a critical part of a brand’s identity.
According to Jim Joseph (@JimJosephExp on Twitter), “Baskin-Robbins is a heritage brand at this point, so it’s important to keep it fresh especially in a category like ice cream which is not only so competitive, indulgent, and let’s say fun. [But] is the new logo fun enough?”
According to Virginia Bingol, “A heritage brand is a brand with a history going back decades, or even centuries, that manufactures trusted products and uses its respectable image to create an experience associated with its brand. These companies have been around for what feels like forever, and they produce items that are made to last, and also create an image that’s based on both traditional values and creative, innovative designs.”
The new logo will be seen on signage, employee uniforms, and packaging. Original advertising back in 1953 centered around circus iconography, which featured pink and brown colors that are being revived. This is the first major logo update since 2006, and the company will unveil new ice cream flavors as part of the brand refresh. According to the company, the logo went from a childish font using blue and pink colors to a more “grown-up logo featuring brown and pink.”
Jason Maceda, President of Baskin-Robbins, explained, “Our goal is to capture the next generation of ice-cream lovers through our new look and manifesto.” The new branding includes a tagline of “Seize the Yay,” and also includes a limited-edition collection of bikes and skateboards.
Baskin-Robbins has been around for 77 years. Therefore, how often have you visited a Baskin-Robbins store for chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, or your fave flavor? Do you have fond memories from your childhood that you have passed on to your kids and grandkids? What does this brand mean to you? What words or feelings do you associate with this brand? Does the logo fit into your brand associations?
Consider this: there are over 7,700 Baskin-Robbins stores around the world. Since I live in Southern California, there are countless Baskin-Robbins locations nearby. The strange thing, though, is that they provide radically different customer experiences. One store has such a foul smell upon entering that I refuse to visit. Another has such a small space for a line of customers that, especially during the covid pandemic, a 6-foot safety distance was never a possibility, so I never returned. Another has such a friendly man who ALWAYS greets guests with a big smile and hello that I leave feeling happy.
If I were not a marketing pro, I would have no interest in the news about a brand refresh but would only care about the customer experience. These questions should have been addressed by the brand’s leadership team: How do I feel at the stores? How am I greeted? Is my business valued? Do I like the product? And lastly, do I feel happy?
But I AM a marketing pro, so I think a great idea that the Baskin-Robbins leadership team should have considered was this: Launch an electric vehicle (EV) with the colors of the limited-edition ice cream flavors on a rotating basis around the globe – and raffle them off to customers. Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity. Without a doubt, they would appeal to the “family” and next generation of ice cream fans demographic that Baskin-Robbins aspires to appeal to.
While the leadership team at Baskin-Robbins spent four years planning this brand refresh, it appears that no one spent any time analyzing the customer experience part of the refresh. That was a big mistake, don’t you agree?
Image Credit: Baskin-Robbins.