There are many reasons that firms decide to take a knife to long-established elements of their graphic identity. But typically this is because certain elements of their original business, which find strong expression in the logo, have now become something of a limitation. Yes, in theory it's great that a logo has come to embody a single product or service — but what if those have reached their limits of growth? Then it's time for the firm to try to reposition its brand to stand for more than that, so new products and services can be introduced for not only their existing customers, but also a whole new swath of them, hopefully in even greater numbers than the originals. But how do the original, loyal customers feel about this rebranding? Not always so great.
Starbucks generated a lot of blowback last year when it rolled out a streamlined new logo that dropped the word "coffee," it's emblematic product. While many hard-core Starbucks fans felt jilted, the firm believed the move was necessary to pave the way for coffee-free products, such as the recently-introduced Starbucks Refreshers energy drinks. Earlier this year the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house exchanged its longstanding YSL logo for mundane sans serif type, a move that was spun as being a return to its roots in the 60s. Customers found the history lesson unconvincing.
Following in the footsteps of a Starbucks without coffee, we now have a Domino's Pizza without pizza, judging by a new logo that so far has only been shown on the firm's New Zealand Facebook page. And guess what? Judging from the comments, customers don't like it. Domino's CEO Don Meij claims that the new logo is "cleaner, stronger and more modern" than the original and that "it was time to improve the one thing that signifies our brand — by creating a new clean, crisp and strong brand logo that reflects our new directions." Those new directions include an increasing number of new menu items, with less emphasis on pizza, a saturated market in which the firm has many competitors.
So the move makes some sense but is the result a success? Admittedly, they've kept the domino and the red/blue color scheme. But is the large block of type — despite nicely echoing the domino dots within the letter o, above the i and in the apostrophe — simply too much and too bland? And more importantly, by taking away the pizza from the Domino's brand, what really remains?