What’s Wrong with Gatorade? G, I Don’t Know

What’s Wrong with Gatorade? G, I Don’t Know

In recent attempts to expand and grow its brand Gatorade has broadly extended its product lineup and refashioned its long-standing logo.

At a recent analyst meeting PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said the company has not been happy with its North American beverage business. Last year volume dropped by 12% along with a 10% decline in sales per BusinessWeek.  Both the Gatorade and Tropicana brand refreshes by PepsiCo have been publicly criticized.  Gatorade’s brand refresh inlcuded a new logo coupled with a tweak on the product name to G. These changes may have been too much for consumers to swallow.

Gatorade Logo vs. Name Awareness

Using E-Score Brand data we looked at the recent awareness scores for Gatorade.  In January 2010 Gatorade received a name awareness score of 80% while the logo received an awareness of just 34%. In reports using the older logo, Gatorade had awareness levels of 82% for both name and logo.

E-Score Brand has the power to dig deeper and uncover the source of problems as well as possible solutions. Looking at Gatorade’s numbers by age reveal a trend.  The 13-17 demographic has an image and logo awareness discrepancy of only 1 point.   As you move older the gap grows widely.  Ages 18 to 24 has a discrepancy of 12 points, 18 to 49 a discrepancy of 34 points and 25-54 a gap of 47 points.  Younger audiences that have a short history with Gatorade and a more plastic view of the logo have recognized the change where older consumers still hold on to the classic design.

Gatorade’s universally recognizable lightning bolt and green font had become a standard in sports.  A change in logo and product lineup created confusion between logo and name that Gatorade’s maketing has not yet overcome.  Understanding consumer connections not only with the product but the logo itself can help steer a successful brand strategy.

Source: E-Score Brand January 2010 Fielding

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