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Pepsi Rebranding:
Do Consumers Feel Nostalgic?

Olga Keating
Market Research Manager
The new visual design of the versatile Pepsi logo has taken the internet by storm. It has received critical acclaim for its solid branding, it showcased the best of the Pepsi heritage alongside the relevant to times, up with the trends side.
The logo nods to the memories of those of us who were children in the 80s and 90s with its vintage design.
The new branding Pepsi begins using in autumn
"The challenge was: How can we take something that was part of our heritage and our past and project it to the present and the future?" — Pepsi chief marketing officer Todd Kaplan said (USA Today).
In the creator's own words, the new design is meant to incorporate the best of both worlds, the old and the new. So let's see how well they did. This is one of those cases where results have to be interpreted intelligently.
METHODOLOGY

Stimuli:
1. brand package range, 2. old and new package.
Target: A national representative sample, USA, between 18 and 65 y.o.
Research solution: Design Test — ready-to-use research solution by Fastuna (online survey).

Consumers don't care about the rebranding but they like the new designs

The overall score is below average and is being dragged down by the desire to learn more and relevance, with scores of 64% and 65% respectively. This may indicate that the event of the rebranding in itself is not as much of a big deal to people as Pepsi would like to think. Regular people are not as hyped up about it as the expert community, ... obviously.
Evaluation of the new Pepsi branding
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However, although they are not interested in the event itself, when presented with the design they reacted quite positively and all the important metrics, such as uniqueness (69%), believability (83%), purchase intent (72%) and desire to tell others (70%) — were in the 'green' above average zone.

Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tactic

You can tell that Pepsi did its homework. In fact they heavily invested in research to make sure that the visuals were in line with consumer preference. They achieved exactly what they had set out to achieve.
The majority of consumer responses were positive and supported the assumption that nostalgia plays an important part in connecting people to brands.
I like the old-school design. — Female, 45
The history of the Pepsi logos — CNN
The classic logo is such a well-known visual that it evokes a response even in those who were very young children then. Its presence would come across through merchandising and films etc. As a result, the younger gen gets nostalgic too, even though they were about 8 years old then.
It looks better and more classic than the other one. — Male, 23

Out with the old, in with the old-school: overwhelming majority prefer the new design

The overall preference for the new design (right) over the old (left) was 77%
We asked an additional question to solidify our findings by simply selecting the best design out of the two. And it was reflected in the overall preference for the new design over the old which was 77%. Consumers prefer the more bold and vibrant visuals that attract more attention.
The overall preference for the new design (right) over the old (left) was 77%
It seems more bold. The word Pepsi stands out more. It looks contemporary and I like the colors better! — Female, 58
All in all, well-done Pepsi. Nostalgia works! While people over a certain age feel rather nostalgic towards the new logo, those who were too young for the pre-2008 redesign still get a second-hand wind of nostalgia too and see the design as more classy. The old heritage is in harmony with the modern elements bringing a balanced and versatile new designs to consumers. Achieving the creative goals of the rebranding.
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