Welcome to the Blade Weekly Re-Brand, a place for us to take a quick look at some of the rebranding going on in the world and give a quick impression of what went right and what went wrong.
As part of a pilot project to test out the rebranding of Ontario’s iconic Beer Store brand, beginning in May four Beer Stores were transformed with an updated logo and completely overhauled interiors.
What was wrong with the old Beer Store?
In Ontario, there’s only two places to get beer: The Beer Store or the LCBO. The LCBO mainly focuses on alcohols other than beer, and some LCBO stores have small-to-non-existent beer selections. Seeing as The Beer Store is the only place to get beer, you wouldn’t think that they’d need to do much branding, but if public opinion moves too much against them the government could shake up the market by introducing another competitor or, as has recently been floated, allowing convenience stores to sell beer.
Does the new version fix the problem?
The new Beer Store look takes a lot of cues from the LCBO, which in recent years has revitalized its own brand with a heavy focus on education about various beverages and tastings. In the new Beer Store, touch screen monitors allow you to browse through different brands of beer. Suggestions for food pairings are offered, and histories of the beers are on display. The new logo is also a big improvement, replacing the old “tipsy” B with a classy-yet-friendly serif. The new B icon evokes beer via graphic representation, rather than photographic realism.
What new problems are introduced?
Everyone who drinks beer thinks they are the exact demographic The Beer Store should be targeting. Because of this, many people think they’ve missed the mark. Additionally, many stores in rural Ontario never updated to that last rebranding, and are still sporting the old orange designs. This lack of consistency across stores has the potential to confuse the brand image even further.
Is it an overall improvement?
The new stores appear cleaner, more friendly, and are trying hard to be a little more upscale and offer more than just a pick-up/drop off location for beer/empties. I’d call it a win.