Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's in a Name?

During these difficult economic times companies, with traditionally strong customer loyalty, are looking to take a new approach to marketing. More specifically they’re rebranding, giving their companies a fresh new look.

  • Aside from recently changing their logo, Pepsi launched a "Pecsi" campaign in Argentina, a name which it has been called there for years, due to differences in pronunciation.
  • Starbucks has decided to strip its brand name off remodeled stores, in order to create a “local personality”.
  • Pizza Hut, now serving more than just pizza, will be renamed “The Hut” (on boxes and select stores only)

Rebranding isn’t a new fad. As Paul Farhi of the Washington Post points out, "Cable TV networks have been doing this for years." (The Nashville Network became Spike TV, the SciFi channel was recently changed to SyFy, etc.)

According to an article in USA Today “RadioShack would like you to call it ‘The Shack’” the 88-year-old electronics company is looking to reintroduce itself so as to attract more tech-savvy customers. RadioShack's advertising initiative will focus on the company’s “knowledgeable sales staff and wireless products.”

The article goes on to discuss the dangers as well as benefits of rebranding.

“But Bishop warns of possible trouble. When Federal Express changed its name to FedEx, he says, ‘FedEx had no other meaning than Federal Express. With The Shack, there is a contrived familiarity that I'm not sure is helpful.’ ”

Branding is extremely important and as John Bello, CEO of SoBe Beverage Company said, “If you don’t go out there and make yourself known, your brand will die on the shelf because nobody is going to love you the way you love yourself.” In the following clips from Prendismo's Brand and Branding Collection various entrepreneurs and business people share their thoughts on branding.

"Bad branding to me is something that does not convey the message immediately and clearly." - Barbara Lang, Founder, RTR Ideas

"I think the more creativity you give people and the more ownership you give them of design, the more energy you're going to get around that." -Bill Shore, Founder, Share Our Strength

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