Since its launch in 1979, Jiffy Lube has become one of the world’s largest franchised oil-change brands, with more than 2200 service centers. But in the midst of all that growth, the company never changed its retail image, despite the fact that two major factors – advances in automotive technology that increased the time between oil changes and growing competition from local auto dealers – had forced Jiffy Lube to expand its services to more than just oil changes.
With its image stuck in the past, Jiffy Lube hired branding and design firm Bedrock (Oakland, Calif.) to oversee its makeover. Bedrock director Kraig Kessel said his company’s research into the oil-change market found that customers were balking at the inconvenience of having to pre-schedule service visits at auto dealerships.
“We found that motorists preferred the flexibility of Jiffy Lube’s no-appointment-needed format,” said Kessel.
In addition, Jiffy Lube needed to get the message out that it had broadened its offerings to include preventive maintenance services, such as air-conditioning recharges, tire rotations and transmission drains/fills.
Finally, Bedrock’s research unearthed the fact that for many consumers, oil changes are an impulse purchase. That meant Jiffy Lube needed to create a stronger street-side presence and increase the curb appeal of its outlets, Kessel says.
“Our basic challenge was to cost-effectively signal change in customers’ minds while standardizing the experience across disparate architectural styles and local code restrictions,” he explains.
The company began by updating the red Jiffy Lube logo. “The old Jiffy Lube logo was static and did not convey speed, which is one of the chain’s core attributes,” explains Kessel. “In addition, the ‘Jiffy Lube’ word-mark was embedded in what they called their ‘flying J’ logo. This made it very difficult to read from various points of view – whether on a sign while driving by at 40 miles per hour or when reduced down onto a business card.”
The updated logo, which Kessel describes as “evolutionary rather than revolutionary,” features an italicized ‘J’ to give it movement. “We also encapsulated the ‘J’ in a circle to give us flexibility for various signature configurations (i.e., horizontal, vertical), particularly when used on signs,” he notes. “We also took the word-mark out of the old ‘J’ symbol so that it could stand on its own.”
Bedrock also emphasized the word “Jiffy” in a bolder-weight font to play up the attribute of speed, while de-emphasizing the word “lube.”
At the same time the logo was being updated, Bedrock was conceptualizing what it called the “ideal Jiffy Lube experience” for the chain’s shops that would be more customer-friendly, as well as more visible to passing motorists. Key features of the updated look include a curved fascia on the façade that turns into a canopy to protect customers from the elements while picking up their cars. The exterior cladding is made of aluminum composite material and includes a red LED accent-strip uplight that’s activated at night.
Bedrock turned the design components into a retrofit kit of parts that can be used by Jiffy’s stores. The updated design is currently being implemented at 230 company-owned Jiffy Lubes, and plans call for rolling it out to franchisees over the next several years.
[Note: the companies listed below worked on a prototype bearing the new Jiffy Lube design at a renovated shop in Redwood City, Calif.]
Client: Jiffy Lube, Houston – Luis Scoffone, president; Roque Baecker, group manager, network planning; Lisa Carlson, global director, marketing; Marcus Duffel, group manager, construction
Design: Bedrock, Oakland, Calif. – Kraig Kessel, director; Dave Oldman, director; David Takeuchi, ceo; Lauren Wanski, Yi-Chen Chang, Bryce Gibson, Mardis Bagley and Chris Uy, designers
General Contractor: Kerby Construction, San Jose, Calif.
Fixtures: Impressions Architectural Millwork, Cypress, Texas
Flooring: TOLI Intl., Commack, N.Y.
Furniture: Grand Rapids Chair Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
Laminates: Nevamar Co., Odenton, Md.
Lighting: Lightolier, Fall River, Mass.; Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga.
Signage/Graphics: Coast Sign, Anaheim, Calif.
Sign Materials: Alpolic - Mitsubishi Chemical America Inc., Chesapeake, Va.; Sloan LED, Ventura, Calif.; Matthews Paint, Pleasant Prairie
Paint: Sherwin Williams, Cleveland
Photography: Douglas A. Salin, San Francisco