Quaker Oats Gives Iconic Figure a Makeover!

Can you see the differences between the two pictures?

Yes, there are notable differences between the backdrop ‘Larry’ (and yes, the Quaker man has a name in case you didn’t know) is positioned in front of, but can you recognize some of Larry’s fine details that have been altered?

In her article, ‘Larry,’ Quaker of Oatmeal Fame, Gets a Makeover, Sarah Nassauer explains how the revamped logo wasn’t done to necessarily catch the consumers’ eyes.

Subtlety was a primary aim.  The “goal is not to have anyone notice that he is different,” explains Michael Connors, Hornall Anderson’s vice president of design.

When introduced in 1877, Quaker Oatmeal represented a brand that symbolized a quality meal  and a trustworthy one too.  Nowadays, consumers are trying alternative ways to become healthier and keep up energy throughout those long work days.  Due to the overwhelming statistic of the green initiative and healthy choices, Justin Lambeth, Quaker’s chief marketing officer, knew they had a successful 134-year-old brand that needed no change in its quality, but instead in its image.  He chose to adjust the logo to realign the brand with consumers’ new healthier decisions and lifestyles without losing any of the brand’s equity.

Besides Larry’s broad shoulders being revealed, a trimming of his hair, a removed double chin, and smoothed out face and neck, Mr. Connors summarized these tweaks by saying “We took about five pounds off of him.”

In thinking about this subtle branding revamp, we remembered other brands that did similar edits to their logo including StarKist editing its iconic figure, Charlie the Tuna.  Decades ago StarKist commercials would show Charlie and his friends smoking cigars and playing poker under the sea.  However, if those commercials would be broadcast in the present day, we would expect the brand image of StarKist to decrease.  Since there is a vast amount of negativity towards smoking, those types of commercials would now lead to a negative brand image.

Another iconic logo who has undergone over 5 adjustments to keep up with the changing image of women is Betty Crocker.  When the economy was low, she taught consumers how to cook on a budget and along with her cooking habits changing so did her gray colored hair and complexion.

Quaker’s adjustments made to its brand image is a good example of how a company should constantly recognize the changing lifestyles, habits, and opinions of its consumers and consider ways to keep their brand relevant.

Companies should be aware of the likes and dislikes of its consumers along with the processes those consumers take to buy their brands.  Knowing these details will aid in forming a positive relationship with consumers and enhance brand equity.

Do you think there are any other brands out of date with today’s society values?

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

3 responses to “Quaker Oats Gives Iconic Figure a Makeover!”

  1. TransitionMarketing says :

    I absolutely believe there are brands – some big ones – that are out of touch with societies values and it will cost them over the long term. What is worse is that there are brands that have done the research, know the “new” values and spend tons of money only to clumsily approach the consumer public.

    When a brand designs a campaign to show their moral upstanding and global awareness and it is clearly just hot air, completely transparent. They are exposed and they damage themselves more than anything.

    Do companies actually care about sustainability, about the environment, or are they cashing in on “green fever”.

    How about that recent tweet by Mcdonalds during the Kony 2012 craze, a completely irrelevant tweet about happy meals found it’s way into the Kony 2012 string. People were not impressed.

    When approaching brand image you have to be careful, consumers are a savvy bunch, and word spreads a lot more quickly these days. Add that to the transparency that Social Media and online sharing has brought to many campaigns and companies (the Facebook viral that apparently showed how Mcdonalds REALLY makes there chicken products) and you realize that the public can tune in to Marketing Manure far more quickly.

    Small changes can make a big difference. I think Quaker, taking something that works for them and improving it subtly is very clever. Their values are already in tune.

    What do you think?

  2. cigarette smoking woman says :

    Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your site accidentally, and I am surprised why this twist of fate didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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