It’s not every day that someone champions a global redesign of an iconic brand. PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini led the process to refresh Pepsi’s logo and visual identity to make it more relevant today… and tomorrow. Clearly, he was realistic about the risks involved with so enormous a task, but he also understood how Pepsi’s corporate culture, customer-focus, and collaborative teams would enable any change to be as welcome and effective as possible.
Most of the marketing world has now had a glimpse of the new logo, revealed earlier this month with dynamic colors—electric blue aligned with black, a bolder, all-caps font, and a striking Pepsi wordmark within a larger globe. However, most may not realize how and why it came about.
Mauro Porcini has infused design thinking into PepsiCo’s culture for numerous product platforms and brands in addition to Pepsi, including Lay’s, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Tropicana, Doritos, Cheetos, Quaker, Aquafina, SunChips—just to name a few. This involves both physical and virtual expressions of product, packaging, events, advertising, licensing, retail, as well as music and sports. While such great familiarity with so many products under the corporate umbrella is extraordinary, it can also make the rebranding of a globally- recognized flagship beverage like Pepsi itself that much more challenging.
To learn more from Mauro Porcini about innovation, design, what inspires people to buy brands… as well as the very long, inclusive process to get a major global rebranding right, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.
In our conversation, we discuss the following:
- You often mention that you see little difference between design and innovation. “Design,” you’ve said, “is a strategic function that focuses on what people want and need and dream about.” Can you tell us more about that?
- You’ve also said that “People don’t buy just products anymore. They search for holistic solutions, meaningful experiences and authentic stories.” And you’ve also noted that “78% of millennials would rather spend money on an experience than a product, while 47% of consumers want brands to provide inspiration for things to do.” So how does that factor into your approach?
- Tell us about the rebrand… and what had to go into the process for you to feel you “hit the right chords,” so to speak…
- Pepsi’s last redesign was in 2008. Certainly, the world was a different place 15 years ago, what affects how brands are conveyed?
- Do you think all brands should periodically refresh their look or update their logo? Can some brand designs remain “classic” for a longer time?
- I know that sustainability matters tremendously to you personally and to PepsiCo as a corporation. How do you reflect this in design? Even if you’re ahead of consumer habits or their current behavior toward convenience products?
- What’s next for you and your design team?
|Mauro Porcini and his design team have won more than 800 Design and Innovation awards. He has been recognized with several personal awards, including Fortune’s 40 under 40, Fast Company 50 Most Influential Designers in USA, Master of Design, Most Creative People in Business, GQ 30 Best Dressed Men, amongst many others.
Plus, in 2018 Mauro Porcini was recognized with the Knighthood (Cavaliere) by the President of the Italian Republic. In the fall of 2022, Mauro published his first book in English, The Human Side of Innovation. The Power of People in Love with People (Berrett-Koehler), which focuses on innovation, design and leadership. The book was named a Gold Winner of the Better Future – New York Design Award the month of its publication.
In the spring of 2021, he published his first book in Italian “L’età dell’eccellenza – Come innovazione e creatività possono costruire un mondo migliore” (Il Saggiatore). It is now in its fifth reprint.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mauro served as the first ever Chief Design Officer at 3M, where his mission was to build and nurture a design sensitive culture in a technology driven global corporation. His teams, based in the U.S., Italy, China and Japan, won many of the world’s most prestigious design and innovation awards.
Mauro began his professional career at Philips Design and then created his own design firm, Wisemad Srl, in Italy with the celebrated entertainment producer and music star Claudio Cecchetto. His work on wearable technologies has been showcased at the Louvre in Paris as well as the Seoul Art Center.