Yesterday, news broke that after more than 50 years, one of the most recognisable retail brands in SA, PEP announced a new logo.

This move got the social media streets divided, with some giving it a Pat, whilst others gave it a Slap. I don’t blame them. As with any change, people will always have varying views.

Old PEP Logo Versus New PEP Logo
Old PEP logo v.s New Logo

PEP is not the first South African brand to change its logo, recently we’ve seen the likes of ABSA changing their logo as well – a move that got much criticism.

OLD ABSA logo and new ABSA logo
Old ABSA Logo v.s New ABSA LOGO

Why brands change logos?

Before I share my views on the new PEP logo it is important to understand why brands change logos. There are a number of reasons why brands need to every now and then “rebrand” and often the rebranding starts with the logo as it is the most recognisable.

Brands do not just wake up and decide to change their logos. It is often a strategic decision because it’s expensive to rebrand. PEP’s CEO, Jaap Hamman said, “there’s so much more to the new logo, it’s a bold statement of our confidence in the future of PEP and of the country’. This shows that there’s a new strategic direction that PEP is taking.

When VW changed its logo last year, it said, “the new brand design marks the start of the new era for Volkswagen”.

Another reason why brands change their logo is to remain relevant to the market. As simply put by Heraclitus, “the only constant in life is change”. Consumer needs and so are the ways in which we market change. It through these changes that brands can easily lose their relevance. So, to remain relevant a rebrand becomes necessary.

Here’s what I think…

Every brand needs a refresh every now and then so that it stays relevant. If you look at the new PEP logo it looks more modern, this is a sign that PEP is moving with the times. They applied flat design principles on the new logo which works well on digital platforms, a signal that PEP could be looking to intensify their digital strategy and appeal to a new consumer segment.

The new logo also provides reassurance and shows commitment to customers that PEP is here to stay. This is a necessary move, especially now in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic where many businesses are closing their doors.

It is a Pat from me!

What do you think of the new PEP logo? Are you giving it a Pat or Slap?

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Pat Mahlangu

Thokozani Pat Mahlangu is the editor of Pat on Brands and the founder and CEO of Lerato Agency. He is internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg.

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