Pizza Hut logo

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

26 June 2019

A sign of sheer panic: Returning to the old Pizza Hut logo

Here’s case study in sheer panic. The old Pizza Hut logo is coming back, replacing the current round logo because, well, the brand’s in a free fall.

Pizza Hut stood atop the pizza chain market from the 70s through just two years ago. Then Domino’s overtook Pizza Hut’s market leadership. So what does the pizza chain do now?

Pizza Hut logoScramble through its files. Hold meetings. Sweat. And find the old Pizza Hut logo. Let’s bring it back, people!

Basically, the chain believes the old logo with the red roof will return it to the glory days. That logo ran from 1967 to 1999, while the current round logo was introduced five years ago.

There’s a lot to unravel here. But the bottom line is this represents unadulterated panic. In 2017, Domino’s leapfrogged Pizza Hut in terms of overall sales in the US and average sales per store despite having about 2,000 fewer stores than Pizza Hut.

“Then there’s the retro Pizza Hut logo itself. First, millennials whom the pizza chains target have no nostalgia for a logo that last appeared before many of them were born.”

The old Pizza Hut logo doesn’t work anymore

Then there’s the retro Pizza Hut logo itself. First, millennials whom the pizza chains target have no nostalgia for a logo that last appeared before many of them were born.

In addition, the red roof signifies the restaurants themselves. And, as most pizza chains learn, nobody eats chain pizza in the restaurants themselves. They order delivery. That’s the only purpose the stores serve.

Instead of just racing back to the old Pizza Hut logo, it should do the hard work of truly rebranding to figure out what would truly attract customers. The theme of “No one outpizzas the Hut” means nothing. Seriously, ask yourself what the hell that means.

Most pizza chains fail at finding the highest emotional intensity in the market in which to align their brands. Instead, their messages are either about price (not sustainable), taste (not a switching trigger) or the brand itself (nobody cares).

None of them are emotional and Pizza Hut might be the worst of them. Check that. With the return of the old Pizza Hut logo, it is officially the worst. And the most panicked.

See more posts in the following related categories: logo development

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