Published on April 13, 2021 at 6:51 p.m.
by Maggie Palmer.
Rebranding is the process of changing the image or services of a company in order to attract a new audience and keep repeat customers interested. An outdated logo, dysfunctional website or new business model, among other things, can cause a business to update its look and feel.
With a new focus on health and wellness, popular pet brand Petco redesigned its brand from top to bottom in October 2020.
Customers were unhappy about the rebranding in its entirety, and a public relations disaster quickly ensued online. The thing that angered them most was Petco’s removal of its dog and cat mascots, Red Ruff and Blue Mews, from its logos.
Red Ruff and Blue Mews were introduced as Petco’s official logo mascots in 1991. The two sat next to one another in front of the Petco name, with Red Ruff’s ear resting comfortably on Blue Mews’ head. Many found the logo to be endearing, and it allowed pet owners to connect with the company on a personal level.
Online critics bashed Petco’s new logo for being cold and lifeless without Red Ruff and Blue Mews’ friendly faces. Some even compared the brand’s updated look to that of mattress brand Casper, which uses a similar color and sans serif typeface in its visual identity.
Petco attempted to console its audience over the removal of the mascots a couple of months after its rebranding was announced, tweeting, “Ruff and Mews are here to stay.” The company has continued to include them in online messaging and advertising. However, Red Ruff and Blue Mews have not been reintegrated into the company’s logos, and it’s unlikely that they’ll be included again anytime soon.
In short, rebranding can be extremely beneficial if done the right way. Being knowledgeable about your customer base, including what they like about your brand pre-makeover, is key to creating a new look and feel that keeps everyone happy. Whether Petco made the right choice in this instance is most certainly up for debate.