Behold the new Wendy's logo (above right) in all its pigtailed glory. The fast food chain is not just modernizing its look but giving the brand an "ultra modern" "brand transformation." (What is more modern than a little girl in a striped, high collar shirt with a brooch, after all.) The plan is to remodel some stores — 75 total by year end — with "lounge seating with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and digital menuboards." There will also be more ads featuring the real-life Wendy Thomas, daughter of Dave and the chain's namesake, salads with berries on them, and something about "aggressively [moving] into the digital marketing space." Here's a press release:
Wendy's Transformation Producing Positive Results Company Unveils New Contemporary Brand Logo
October 11, 2012
DUBLIN, Ohio – Wendy's® is in the midst of a comprehensive transformation to contemporize the brand and dramatically improve the customer experience. Consumers are responding, as evidenced by:
• Five consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales at Company-operated restaurants*
• 2012 ZAGAT SURVEY® rating Wendy's as the Top Overall Mega Chain
• Wendy's top ranking for customer satisfaction among hamburger chains in the "limited-service" category by the American Customer Service Satisfaction Index™ (University of Michigan survey)
• Wendy's No.1 speed-of-service ranking in the 2012 QSR Drive-Thru Survey, a proprietary report by QSR®
"We are improving the total customer experience, with bold restaurant designs, fresh product innovation, more engaging advertising and digital media advancements," said Emil Brolick, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The transformation is already resonating with consumers and we're building momentum, especially with our Image Activation restaurants that position our brand as 'A Cut Above' the competition. Today, we are unveiling the first Wendy's brand logo change in nearly 30 years, and next March we will introduce it across all of our consumer touch points. This is a very exciting time for Wendy's."
Key initiatives of Wendy's brand transformation include:
• New "Image Activation" restaurants that feature bold, sleek, "ultra-modern" designs that greatly enhance the customer experience. Design features include lounge seating with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and digital menuboards. The reimages completed so far have generated a range of strong sales increases, averaging more than 25 percent. By year-end Wendy's expects to have completed a total of 75 re-imaged restaurants since the program began in 2011, and will accelerate the pace of Image Activation rebuilds and remodels in 2013 and 2014. The Company plans to reimage 50 percent of its Company-operated restaurants by the end of 2015. The Company is also providing a total of up to $10 million in incentives to franchisees to re-image their restaurants in 2013.
• A new advertising campaign premiered this past spring and is resonating with consumers. Ad awareness has risen eight points in the first five months of the campaign, according to independent industry research. The campaign features Wendy Thomas, the Company's namesake, who speaks to Wendy's values and tradition of quality, along with "RED," a young female red-head who engages consumers and presents signature menu offerings in a witty and helpful way.
• Menu Innovations with greater emphasis on fresh ingredients and fresh preparation. Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ Cheeseburgers – made with 100 percent pure, North American, fresh never frozen beef – were introduced in 2011.** They feature thicker patties and premium toppings. Four new entrée salads with craveable ingredients have been created, along with a seasonal Berry Almond Chicken Salad, featuring fresh strawberries and blueberries. Wendy's also has introduced russet potato French Fries with sea salt; center-cut, Applewood Smoked Bacon; and other high quality ingredients that spawned specialty sandwiches like the Asiago Ranch Chicken sandwich. Recent introductions include the Spicy Chicken Guacamole sandwich, Sweet Baked Potato, Son of Baconator™ and the new Bacon Portabella Melt.
• Wendy's has aggressively moved into the digital marketing space, and was recognized as the overall No. 2-ranked company in the Nation's Restaurant News® Restaurant Social Media Index. The Company is connecting with consumers by reaching them when, where and how they prefer. A new Mobile Nutrition app allows customers to personalize meals based on the amount of calories they choose. The Company plans to offer more options in future app updates.
Wendy's to Introduce New Contemporary Logo in March 2013
The ongoing brand transformation will extend to Wendy's new logo in March 2013, when a contemporary look will be introduced on packaging, advertising, crew uniforms, restaurant signage, menuboards and websites.
The evolved design for the logo is contemporary and iconic, as it further emphasizes the Wendy's cameo while retaining the familiar Wendy's "wave" design.
"We want the most prominent symbol of our brand to reflect the transformation that's currently under way," said Craig Bahner, Chief Marketing Officer. "Our refreshed logo signals the innovation and fresh thinking taking place at Wendy's, while reinforcing that we are staying true to our values as a distinct and beloved brand."
The new brand logo was designed by Tesser, an award-winning design firm based in San Francisco.