Subway recently unveiled a new logo and symbol in the evolution of the Subway brand. Along with this announcement, Subway has also released two new ads:
Ladies and gentlemen, the new Subway logo:
It’s a mash-up of its most recent logo of 2015:
With its logo from 2002 – 2015:
And its first logo way back in the late ‘60s:
To top it all off, Subway has also added a new graphical element it is calling a symbol:
I am a bit puzzled by all of this. Subway is a pretty iconic brand throughout the world with more locations than even McDonalds. While the whole Jared Fogle situation turned into a complete disaster that may have necessitated a brand refresh, that refresh should have been in terms of a brand face – defining who customers are when they eat at Subway.
I am not sure what the new Subway logo does, if anything.
A logo, by its very nature, should be nothing more than an extension of a brand. A logo or symbol is never the brand. It’s simply a representation of it.
Considering the expense of changing more than 44,000 stores globally, it becomes pretty obvious that the cost will likely outweigh the benefit in transforming the Subway logo.
The new Subway logo is not a rebrand
The new Subway logo is an attempt to rebrand light. Along with the ads and equity marks, Subway has launched #SearchforBetter, which it is using in the TV advertisements. This is a soft pivot from the ideas of the “Eat Fresh” and “Fresh is what we do” themes it has used previously. But now, it’s presented in a much softer, subdued fashion and far less memorable than the felon Jared and comic Jon Lovitz. I hardly even notice the ads.
Even more, Subway continues the attempt to convince people that its food is really fresh. While it is surely freshly made, it still uses prepackaged chicken to be microwaved, meatballs that come a big plastic bag and are heated in a warming tray, triangle-shaped cheese, pre-sliced deli meats, and breads that come in long frozen cylinders baked in store. Sure, it is probably one of the healthiest fast food chains. But, at the end of the day, it is still fast food. Its brand is smoke and mirrors.
I can see the news of the Subway logo gaining some traction as it relates to a new digital division that will be focusing on utilizing technology to enhance customer engagement and brand loyalty. But looking at the new Subway logo, I find it to be much ado about nothing. Subway had an opportunity to do so much more with its brand and it should have gone all the way.