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Fasta Pasta overhauls image: Five rebranding tips for start-ups

Monday, 29 April 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Food franchise Fasta Pasta has undergone a significant rebrand in a bid to gain a more corporate image, providing some interesting pointers for other businesses.


Fasta Pasta, founded in South Australia in 1984, prides itself on its ability to produce quality pasta dishes to customers in a matter of minutes.


Firmly established in the quick service restaurant category, Fasta Pasta is particularly popular among families looking for a quick, and relatively cheap, dining-out option.


However, the company is now looking to change all that by way of a new logo, a new head office and several new appointments, including that of franchising expert Nicola Milne.


The old logo – which featured a bowl of spaghetti with angel wings, encapsulated in a red circle – has been replaced by a simpler illustration of spaghetti, set against a softer shade of red.


According to chief executive Frank Taddeo, the company is keen to enhance its professionalism.


“What has changed significantly over the past 29 years is our intimate knowledge and understanding of our business,” Taddeo said in a statement.


“We know what works and what doesn’t, and we know that a strong organisation is vital.”


StartupSmart spoke to Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, and Next Marketing founder Jo Macdermott to find out what’s involved in a rebrand.


Ask yourself the tough questions


“The first question is why. Is it because the business is in decline and the market has moved away? Is it because there’s a greater opportunity?” Walker says.


“Think about your existing customers. Will there be any potential loss of brand equity?”


Know your target audience


“It pretty much comes down to your target audience,” Macdermott says.


“If you’re rebranding and going from bottom of the market to middle or top of the market, or vice versa, it’s obviously important to keep in mind what target audience you’re wanting.


“If your existing clients are in a target audience that perhaps isn’t in your [new] branding model, you may lose clients before you gain them. It’s a matter of balance.”


Involve customers in the rebrand


“Always be across any issues that might be barriers to success… and have strategies in place to minimise any barriers,” Walker says.


“Ideally, you pre-research the logo change. Assemble focus groups or groups of customers, and test them in an online survey.


“Get feedback of what consumers felt, thought… Anything that’s a customer facing touchpoint, ask the customer.”


Macdermott agrees it’s important to take customers on the rebranding journey.


“[Businesses need to] have a really clear explanation of what they’re doing. There are lots of teaser campaigns you can do – emails, focus groups. Get the staff involved in that way as well.”


Make it subtle


“The other thing you can do is take a transitional approach to a logo change, so that on the Monday it’s not radically different to the Friday,” Walker says


“It can be transitioned with subtle adjustments, and you can educate the market about that as well.”


Don’t underestimate the legalities


“From an IP perspective, if you’ve got to register a trademark for example, for a complete rebrand you would need to submit new trademark applications,” Macdermott says.


“It may be prudent to consider that carefully.”