Last week, Petco made a lot of changes to its brand identity. In one fell swoop, it removed its dog and cat mascots, Ruff and Mews; sucked the bright red and blue out of the design; and added the curious words, “The Health and Wellness Co.” Customers are confused and/or not excited.
As a company grows, it is perfectly natural for it to
• present a more “grown-up” identity;
• create an brand mark that works better in small and/or digital applications; and
• present a space that better accommodates new product/service offerings.
But Petco’s changes completely remove the life from a brand that should be full of the emotion and warmth that people have for their pets. The company has long had a focus on pet health and wellness, but for consumers, that precept is simply an understood. The new design is simply confusing: without the word “pet” in the name, it has no meaning at all.
The company is spreading the word—appropriately, through Tweets—that Ruff and Mews have not been sent to the shelter. Petco’s website, however, does not reveal a trace of them.