Wendy’s Rebranding Focuses on Sleek Design and Social Engagement

Perennial fast food underdog Wendy’s just announced a full rebranding–but unlike recent Arby’s and American Airlines campaigns, this one will involve more than a slick new logo and an interior makeover. It will include a new tagline, an expanded digital presence and a more aggressive attempt to engage customers.

In July, for example, the chain launched an “info to go” app designed to help diners gauge the nutritional value of their favorite items and make healthier choices. This isn’t an unprecedented move: McDonald’s has the same sort of app in addition to a new one called “Mouth Off” which allows users to sing through that weird talking fish thing in another attempt to push Fish McBites.

In addition to the new costumes, logos and packaging designs, Wendy’s will go by the new tagline “A Cut Above”, hyping the fact that its still-square meat patties are “never frozen”. The most interesting element of the project for digital PR pros will probably be the “Claim Your Taste” campaign. Like many other recent corporate promo efforts, this one encourages fans to become “virtual spokespeople” by submitting user generated content (which will then become marketing content) in the interest of appearing in future web and TV spots. Fans appear to do little beyond choosing their favorite marketing slogans for items on the chain’s “value menu” (examples include “zippy”, “zingy” and the ever-popular “mmm”), but people do like to see themselves on-screen, so there’s that.

We can’t say whether these efforts will amount to a “Where’s the Beef”-level branding win, but the company is certainly doing everything the industry told it to do, right?