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From Species to Brands: Is Evolution an Ongoing Process?

Updated: Aug 8

Darwin’s finches. Does that ring a bell? Charles Darwin, a British naturalist was the first to observe the evolution of species. His theory radically changed the way everyone looked at the inception of life on earth. Change is a common characteristic of every environment and in order to survive, all lives associated with it adapt.


The Treasure Islands of Galápagos

Back in the days when he made a trip to the Galápagos Islands, he was puzzled by the wide variety of flora and fauna. There were numerous examples that contradicted the common belief that species were created by God and placed on the land. Be it plants or animals that resided in the Galápagos Islands, they were evidently not identical to the ones on the mainland.



On each of his trips, he collected evidence of the idea that species undergo changes in order to fit into the changing environment. The Galápagos Islands are very different in topography resulting in a diverse habitat. While larger trees grow at higher elevations, low islands are home to shrubs, cacti, and grasses. These differences directed the commonly found finches to evolve to survive. While the finches that fed on insects developed sharp needle-like beaks to pick the insects, woodpecker finches had much more robust beaks and the finches that feed on cactus and flowers developed long and pointed beaks. This diversification took place over the years based on their chief food choices resulting in multiple varieties of finches from the same ancestors.



Theory of Evolution in Brand Era

Is Darwin’s theory of evolution still relevant today? We see evaluation as a thing of the past, but it is an ongoing process that is taking place in every space. Years ago, if the finches were the evidence, today the life of a brand demonstrates the relevance of the theory of evolution. In this brand era, the fast-paced consumer-centric approach has made the changes happen faster than ever.


Evolution of Pepsi

For a better understanding, let us make the brand Pepsi our finches. Pepsi is a brand that has evolved over the years in every aspect. Would you believe that your favorite fizzy drink was called Brad’s Drink!



Yes, named after its founder Caleb Bradham, Brad’s Drink was an instant talk of the town. But by this time Coca-Cola was already a sensation. So, Brad’s Drink made its first move to adapt better to the soft drinks market and renamed it Pepsi-Cola.


Pepsi-Cola had a journey of its own with respect to the choice of fonts. In 1905 as its popularity grew, to be more consumer-friendly the brand name Pepsi-Cola went ahead and made its first change in font to improve readability. The very next year they incorporated the gist of their tagline as part of the title and formed Pepsi-Cola Drink.



In 1940, the United States was at the dawn of World War II. This time saw a roar of patriotism in the citizens. At this point, Pepsi-Cola incorporated the color blue into its existing red and white palette adding to the heights of emotion. The same year also witnessed the iconic glass bottle cap that stood strong for the next 12 years.



In the coming years, as the packaging of the product started changing, in order for better legibility and symmetry, Pepsi dropped the Cola part from its name. The new PEPSI was bold and young, a reflection of its market base. In 1973, adapting to the trend of minimalism the brand gave the logo a hyper minimalist makeover. It also added sky blue to the palette.



The next major shift in the logo design was seen as plastic pet Pepsi bottles were becoming a thing. To gel with the new packaging style the logo design made a major shift from the iconic bottle cap design. Under the new arrangements, the globe element and the wordmark appeared separately for the first time. The globe was shifted to the bottom right, separating it from the word ‘Pepsi’.



In the early 2000s, the logo was played around using the trending 3D effect, giving the logo a shiny feel. The Pepsi bottle that you grab today has a logo that smiles back at you. The iconic white band on the middle of the globe was given a slight tweak in the year 2008 and the smiling globe was born. The logo carries a number of encrypted mysteries with its golden ratio approach. This added a thrill for the customers to decode its underlying meaning. It incorporated the Earth’s magnetic field and gravitation, Fengshui, and other fields of knowledge into its globe.



While Darwin’s finches adapted their tool to feed their chief food of choice, Pepsi adapted its logo design elements to its fast-growing audience and packaging design to stay relevant even today.


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