Branding is a relatively simple discipline.
Come up with an idea that is different, is clear what you are about, clear what you stand for and then keep doing it well.
So when Pizza Hut – which is about as clear as you can get for role definitions – decided to rebrand to become ‘The Hut’ is this brilliant branding or death by a thousand cuts?
Well, in my opinion it is the sign that they have reached new depths of desperation and are scrabbling around in a vain attempt to not offend anyone. In doing so, I believe that all they have achieved is to lose the reason they may have actually attracted anyone in the first place.
With Pizza Hut, you knew it stood for (horrid) pizza and a big central thing of crap salad that students use for competitions that drift into engineering challenges where they use lettuce to cantilever as much onto their plate as possible, cover it in bacon bits and thousand island and then promptly leave the whole lot, as they are totally podged out on their bloaty fat based pizza.
And in these terribly right on times we know we should eat more salad and much less ‘Pie’ – But it was a treat. An occasional treat hopefully. You weren’t meant to eat it every day, unless you wanted to end up like Mr Creosotes fat brother.
So blanding it down to ‘The Hut’ won’t fool anyone when you are still serving up student friendly salad, selling pizza by the square metre and throwing in a few lonely tomato pastas for the salad dodgers to look at and decline.
Look at the logos. They are the same but the Pizza has hidden under the roof, or it’s got so fat it can’t even get out. At least the old logo had some token greenery in it. The new one proclaims a communist state for crap food and lazy branding.
This is not a brand evolution, it’s a last roll of the dice for a brand that’s dying under a weight of right on-ness and continuing to produce lazy food that is more about mass blanding than creating mass desire through devoted followers.
Last time I ate in one I was on my way back from a football tour with three hungry eight year olds. Even they left the salad.
I won’t be hitting the Hut in a hurry.