July 18, 2018 by phicks2012
Lately — okay, well not just lately, but “especially” lately — I’ve been noticing a flurry of corporate or item re-branding that, to me, makes pretty much no sense at all, or possibly I’m just obtuse.
For example, why change the name of Coke Zero, which already had no sugar, to Coke Zero Sugar? Is the average consumer too dumb-ass stupid to understand that Coke Zero was “Coke Zero” because it had no sugar? Did that really need to be spelled out? They claim the flavor is different, but the ingredients appear to be exactly the same, so — really?
I mean, I prefer Coke to Pepsi, and always have, but Coke has already made quite a few majestic blunders. Anyone old enough to remember the marketing campaign for New Coke will remember just how successful THAT was — leading as it did to the re-release of Classic Coke. Also, tell me, what is the point of the “Share a Coke” campaign, and putting names on bottles? If anyone now living can explain to me just why I would either 1) waste time searching through a cooler or shelf display to find a Coke bottle with my name on it, or 2) buy a coke with someone else’s name on it, I would dearly like to hear it!
And what’s with IHOP supposedly (at least for a while) changing its name to IHOB where the “B” stood for “Burgers” — and then claiming it was a joke? Just about every bloody block has some sort of burger place, so when they first annouced this I had to wonder why in Hell we would need another one? I mean, I might well drive all the way to IHOP for pancakes of waffles, but I had no intention whatsoever in driving all the way to the newly renamed IHOB for a burger — bypassing about 20 other burger places on the way. As far as I knew they won’t be selling gourmet, 5-star bison burgers with freshly baked scratch buns, organic lettuce and tomatoes, and cheese hand-made from the milk of endangered Pakistani markhor goats, so why would I?
Now they’re saying “Ha! Ha! Just a joke to let you know we now have burgers!, and I can’t decide whether it was in fact a “joke” or whether they just abruptly reconsidered a really bad decision.
Looking back, there are a lot of re-branding decisions I haven’t agreed with. Changing the SciFi Channel to SyFy was one of them — especially when Syfy is apparently a slang term for Syphilis. What were these people THINKING?
Mostly companies appear to make decisions to change their corporate names to seem “hipper” or more “relevant” — or hoping people will forget that under their old name they had a God-awful reputation for bad products or horrendous customer service (which might or might not change).
Companies repackage food items (and make products initially harder for consumers to find on the shelves) to increase the visual appeal, but why they entirely change the names of products — well, who the Hell knows!
They don’t do it to erase the collective memory of really bad marketing campaigns, because there are currently a number of TV commercials I really hate. I love Jimmy Fallon, but the Doctor Pepper “Lil Sweet” commercials — Nah. I loathe the Geico “More” commencials, and what’s with Facebook promising less “fake news” and “click bait” when I’m seeing no reduction at ALL in the amount of crap I’m being subjected to. I’m still seeing outrageous and obviously false political rants from both sides of the aisle, misleading links (and don’t get me wrong, my Xfinity home page is rife with those too), and invitations to check out how ugly, old, fat, or cellulite-infested some formerly hot celebrity (or pseudo-celebrity) now is. Just FYI, I don’t consider celebrity gossip to be “News”, but evidently that’s just me.
So here’s a suggestion, or two. Instead of re-branding, just do things right and treat your customers well to begin with. If products are crap, then drop them. If they are popular as they are, as long as they cause no harm “don’t change what ain’t broken”, and if brands or tv networks have a following or a fan-base, leave them alone!
Just my two-cents worth.