As humans age and evolve, so do brands. Communities learned, adapted, and jumped from analog to digital. Brands must evolve with them to continually demonstrate their value to the customer.
A brand may evolve due to market forces, changes in the competitive landscape, the introduction of new technologies, or the brand may need to refresh itself to stay up to date on the market and societal trends.
A successful brand evolution involves strategic changes that are gradual and natural. Applying organic changes that maintain the brand’s core values and heritage is vital in any updates to the brand and its elements. While the core beliefs and behaviors of the brand remain constant, changes in the competitive marketplace may require specific products and services to evolve as well.
The burger wars have placed Wendy’s restaurants in the top three burger chains in the U.S. Their brand has evolved from a mom-and-pop burger joint to introducing a burger joint salad bar in the1970s. Then, Wendy’s added baked potatoes to the menu in the 1980s. They increased philanthropic programs in the 1990s. In 2006, Wendy’s eliminated trans fats in some of its cooking oil. In 2010, they introduced Natural Cut Fries. 2012 brought a revamped logo. In 2020, Wendy’s introduced a breakfast menu.
These gradual changes in services and product lines reflected the need for change in the competitive environment. While some of the colors and brand elements have changed, Wendy’s adapted to the market and has maintained its core values as healthier, delicious, fast food that adapts to changing times.
Wendy’s is a good example of how a brand’s evolution is inevitable. Strategic planning makes the evolution of a brand more valuable. Successful brand evolution creates a modern presence in the marketplace and provides a way to make gradual changes that will maintain customer relationships with the brand and continually demonstrate the brand’s value to the customer.