Burger King’s brand identity is undergoing a massive makeover, with a complete rebranding strategy, the first in more than 20 years.
The new brand identity was created by Siegel + Gale design agency, and is based on colors inspired by its “authentic and delicious food”, making use of orange, yellow and brown. This is not completely new, as a matter of fact it goes back to the 2 versions of the logo design used between 1969 and 1999. And obviously, this means the new brand image has a retro-influenced identity.
Burger King Rebranding
Burger King’s rebranding strategy revolves around several axes:
As expected, this rebrand is consistent across all these axes, and colors and typography create a sense of continuity between the different dimensions of the user experience, going from physical to digital in a seamless way.
The new brand identity brings memories of better days and childhood. Clearly aimed to 35+ years old target, the result is a classic between classics, with a touch of “cool”. Almost like “hipsters in Burger King”.
The centerpiece of the rebranding is the logo design. The new logo gets rid of the blue curve that has been in use since 1999. Burger King said in a press release that the new “minimalist logo perfectly matches the evolution of the brand at the time.” . It’s also a tribute to the history of the brand, with a revamped look that emulates two different logos used between 1969 and 1999.
In terms of typography, the new typography is called Flame, custom made for the company. This typography is curvy and playful, easy to adapt to designs based on typography, as you will see in the new packaging .
According to Burger King’s corporate offices, the new font is inspired by the shapes of its food because it is “rounded, bold and delicious”.
In short: the logo design is simple, memorable, with a classic style that is nonetheless modern.
The shape of the buns is an excellent container for the wordmark, creating a combined logo recognizable to the naked eye and even from a certain distance.
The choice of colors is sober and allows for subsequent play with classic-style designs and lots of hand-drawn illustrations to create a feeling of classicism. We will surely see many posters with a style reminiscent of the 60s in the USA.
The branding agency in charge of the project worked a lot on this logo design. Despite its apparent simplicity, when we see the development of the full brand identity we can realize that it is a very meticulous work which required a lot of study. We can’t really find anything to quibble about in the logo design, it’s an instant classic.
As we all know, a corporate identity redesign doesn’t stop with a logo. Instead, the visual identity is used to give a voice to the brand.
In this case, the rebranding is extended to its employees’ look. This way, BK’s employees will wear new uniforms that blends “a comfortable contemporary style with distinctive colors and graphics.”
As part of this new brand voice, real employees appear in the new ads and promotional images.
As mentioned above, the redesigned packaging highlights the new logo, includes “playful ingredient illustrations” and adjectives that describe the food, using sensory user experience in order to attract customers. The colors, the emotional design, words such as “crunchy” and “tasty” are good proof of this.
On top of this, BK announced a few months ago that 2021 would be the year of “reusable packaging” in partnership with Loop. This announcement came months before the new rebrnading was unveiled, so we’re not sure if it is still the case. Nevertheless, it’s quite reasonable to expect it.
Digital Experience and User Interface
In our digital times, digital presence is a must. And of course, Burger King didn’t left it out of this new rebrand strategy.
After some analysis, we think the UI design is not completed, and there are upcoming changes on the website, so be ready for some surprises.
Physical User Experience: Restaurant Design and Signage
In September, Burger King introduced new coronavirus-era restaurant designs with triple drive-thrus, burger pick-up lockers and take-out counters.
The new restaurant designs will include mobile ordering and curbside pick-up areas, self-service and elevator-less ordering areas (10 points for accessibility), an enhanced self-service experience, outdoor dining areas and sustainable design elements, consistent with the sustainable packaging mentioned above.
And of course, the existing designs will be modified to highlight the renewed visual identity. As the time of writing this, in our country (Argentina) only two restaurants started with some subtle modifications (basically some of the ads and the Burger King name with the new font, plus some wood added to walls), although they still sport the old logo as brand emblem.
With this new rebranding strategy, customers will start to see part of the new visual identity on advertisements, posters, and packaging almost immediately. However, the entire renovation of the nearly 19,000 global restaurants will take several years (see previous paragraph).
Another part of Burger King’s turnaround plan includes adding more items of value, which it did last month with the launch of a new $ 1 menu in US restaurants.
The company also announced that it will invest in more technology, including a new mobile app that will suggest personalized offers to customers and include a new loyalty component. This component was required by investors as a way to compete with other loyalty programs such as those from Starbucks and MacDonalds.
Perhaps the fresh design and familiarity could rekindle diners’ interest at Burger King. Owner Restaurant Brands International said the burger chain has been struggling through the pandemic. In the three months ending Sept. 30, sales at its restaurants open for at least one year fell 7%. Meanwhile, sales at rivals McDonald’s and Wendy’s outperformed Burger King during the same quarter.
Burger King rebranding conclusion
Without a doubt, a great and much needed rebranding effort. The new elements are cleverly disguised as “old and familiar”, while looking modern at the same time.
It is quite evident that the user experience as a whole is cleverly designed using an emotional design and a sensory user experience. The combination of different emotional and sensory triggers provides a sense of belonging. It’s almost like the brand is hugging you. And that’s not bad!
On the “needs more work” side: I think the user interface for both website and mobile app needs a bit of work. It has the brand style (to some extent), but it also looks a bit sloppy, like something done fast for the rebrand launching.
All in all, an incredible effort on full branding experiences and an instant classic that will last for many years to come.
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