Artisanal pizzas have grown in popularity over the last couple of years. Mainly, the millennials are the culprits, perpetuating the indulgence with the new wave of organic and honest eating. With people paying more attention to the varieties and freshness of pizzas, how does a Pizza giant like Pizza Hut compete with this new consumer trend? By rolling out its biggest brand overhaul in it’s 56-year history. Pizza Hut will cease to be the Pizza Hut that consumers have known it to be for nearly six decades.
So what’s changed? For starters, their logo with their iconic red roofing has been contemporized, and the hut and the wordmark have been locked up inside a smear of tomato sauce. It’s nice to see an evolved version of the logo, without all the gradients and multiple colors, and it works nicely as a single color. The new added element might be one element too many, but we can see it being another quick identifier for their brand. If you look at their new menu, it works really well with the roof as a stand alone with the new splotch. Across the board, the new look is very cast-iron and contemporary. They are even going as far to play around with industrial looking typography to complete the look. It has a cool simplicity to it; even the use of black gives it a touch of being “premium.”
Pizza Hut not only had outgrown their logo over the years, they also were becoming less relevant in the pizza world. They were becoming more known as the “fast food” pizza chain with no focus, being caught in “no-man’s” land between the leaders of quality (Papa Johns) and low price (Little Caesars).
The brand took a year to really break down what their new and improved menu would inevitably be. And after experimenting with more ethnic, original and organic flavors, they came up with a category they could call their own in the corporate pizza world.
By being just a little bit creative, they came out with pizzas such as: the Cock-a-Doodle Bacon Pie (garlic parmesan, grilled chicken, bacon), Pretzel Piggy (the same garlic parmesan, bacon, mushrooms and a balsamic “drizzle”), and new crust options like Honey Sriracha and Ginger Boom Boom. (The latter is an “Asian-inspired” flavor.)
“We really wanted to continue our position as a pioneer in the category,” said Drinkwater, VP of marketing at Pizza Hut. But “pioneer” only stretches so far: Pizza Hut is losing the pizza wars. The company has experienced a two percent decline in same-store sales in the last year, even as competitors Domino’s and Papa John’s have grown. It still boasts the biggest market share — 16.7 percent — but that has been decreasing over the last few years, even as rivals’ shares have increased.
The ambitious rebrand is just one step forward in helping Pizza Hut escape it’s fast-food image. One thing is for sure; the rebrand will help bring in more sales from the interest in their new menu. But will it work to better their image? Only time will tell, if their consumers will buy in to the rebranding complete with spinach.