Wonder Bread

Wonder Bread

Click to go to Wonder Bread’s corporate site

Food & Design: Redesigning the Beloved

Wonder Bread is the American favorite, even if you have never tried a slice of the company’s bread.  As “America’s first sliced bread” it inspired the phrase inflatable slide for sale the next “best thing since sliced bread”.  In a way, Wonderbread changed not only the bread and baking world forever, they created a revolution for the field itself.

As the story goes, Elmer Cline, inventor of Wonder Bread was determined to find a suitable name for his invention.  When he visited the International Balloon inflatable slide Race at the Indianapolis Speedway he was taken by the sky filled with hundreds of colorful balloons.  To capture that feeling of his sense of “wonder”, he named his bread Wonder Bread.  This is also the reasoning for the branding and logo design for all of Wonder Bread’s products.

In addition, as I researched for this entry, I came across a very interesting gorilla marketing tactic from the sales division of Wonder Bread.  To debut this new bread, the company drove trucks to deliver helium-filled balloons to children.  Attached the the balloon was a letter that the children were instructed to give to their mothers.  The letter invited mothers to try to the new bread as well as feature the new Wonder Bread.  Because of this sales tactic, Wonder Bread sales outsold other brands in the city.

The reactions I found from individuals was not that they dislike teh redesign, but that their initial thought of the logo was that for laundry detergent.  It was interesting to learn that certain individuals explained that, if they saw this brand on the store shelf that they would stop and consider the item at hand more directly.   However, they also included in their critiques the points that they thought the product was not of the

The biggest difference between the new and the old are two main points.  First, that in the design, the logo and and “Wonder” were equal.  Now, Wonder is the first aspect you see in this design.  Second, Willoughby Designs rearranged and re-sized the logo as well as the typeface for the brand is now updated.  These two changes removed the classic and nostalgic feel of the packaging.

I am firm believer that every decade or two, a brand show do slight changes to their logos to keep it updated and modern.  However, brands with a long history need to be wary of changing their logo to distinctly to distract their loyal customers from straying away from their unique brand.  It wasn’t that Willoughby Designs pushed this logo too far, but they pushed it far enough to catch people off guard.

Simply put, Willoughby Designs did the following right:

Kept it simple.
Kept it Consistent with every other product the bread offered.
Let the colors the same for the logo.
Made “Wonder” stick out more

Alexandra Gergar graduates from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in marketing and finance.  Cooking since she was a child, she now has a food blog called Lemons in Water and is a local caterer in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Follow me on Twitter: AlexGergar

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