When we got our first look at Kraft Foods new corporate brand identity Tuesday, our first thought was "why?"
Then it struck us that the new identity seems inspired by the recently re-imagined smiley Pepsi logo, as well as those flowery whatcha-ma-hoozies that we can only describe as decorative Swedish kitsch. But after talking to a Kraft spokeswoman about the new identity, we quickly realized Kraft and one of its roster ad agencies Nicor/London actually spent a lot of time and money talking to thousands of Kraft employees all over the world before someone sat down and painstakingly designed this new visual that is being introduced along with a new corporate theme line "Make Today Delicious."
So far, Kraft says it doesn't plan to smack the new logo or theme line on packaging for any of its myriad products or put it in advertising, but the company will use it on the corporate Web site and for internal purposes. Apparently, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld believes this new identity will help every one of the tens of thousands of Kraft employees focus more intently on doing a better job of turning around the packaged foods behemoth -- a process that is now entering year three of what was intended as three-year effort.
We have no problem with rethinking corporate identities, but it seems a strange thing to be focusing so much effort on at a time when so much other work needs to be done at companies like Pepsi and, yes, Kraft. And, more important, we wonder whether such a brand image redo is really going to help employee morale all that much. Kraft employees are paid good money to do their jobs. Things such as this new corporate identity aren't essential to getting any of their respective jobs done well.
This new Kraft logo may in fact provide a moment's distraction as everyone at the company thinks for a few seconds about how they are going to make their day as delicious as Rosenfeld wants it to be. But at the end of the day, we just hope everyone Rosenfeld has hired has done more of what Kraft really needs to do to be a competitive packaged foods company once again.