Brand Slam

July 16, 2009 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

Marketing media, old and new, have been commenting on a spate of recent brand makeovers. For your convenience, and a chance to share my sentiments, here are highlights from the “brand slam:”

syfy-logoThe Sci-Fi Channel: This cable network is not really changing its name; it’s simply changing the spelling to “SyFy.” Allegedly, the pronunciation is still the same, although Christopher Bonanos blogs that “Seefy?” is the first thing people will mutter when they stumble across the non-word. Part of the Sci-Fi Channel’s rationale for abandoning its claim on an instantly recognizable term: the fact that it is generic (therefore recognizable).

Beware, the branding contagion may have spread to the Food Network. They may be in the boardroom ranting, “We hate our name! Everyone knows what it means! It’s so…generic!” Get ready to search out “Phuudah” on the cable guide if you want to watch Iron Chef.

kraft_foods_detailKraft: America’s largest food and beverage company is launching a new logo to foster “a clearer brand identity and more cohesive corporate culture.” This program has also brought forth a new intranet and viral video program for employees. Regarding external communication, BrandWeek cites pressure from private labels, eroding Kraft’s profits and driving the need for a stronger image to help differentiate it from the sea of store brands.

Kraft gets kudos for prioritizing its culture and internal communications. The assault by cheaper products is very real in this difficult economy. Its new logo is not the answer. The lower case and handwritten fonts, the smiley face, and the “flavor burst” all scream “cute.” Let the individual brands like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Chips Ahoy and Jell-O attract kids and moms with vivid colors and bouncy typography. The multibillion-dollar, multinational needs to take a step back.

200px-Broadview_Security_logo_svgBrink’s Home Security: Brink’s, the name you trust for security, is now becoming Broadview(?) In an AdWeek article, a company rep says that “Brink’s” conjures images of “armored trucks” while “Broadview” invokes “broadband.” Of course, when someone is breaking into my house, I don’t want to think of tough guys in a bulletproof vehicle rolling up to save the day. I want to think about how fast I can log onto Facebook.

In fairness, The Brink’s Company spun off Brink’s Home Security and required it to change its name within three years. A similar situation occurred between Arthur Anderson and its spun-off consulting company which was compelled to become Accenture, an unforeseen blessing when the accounting parent died in the Enron meltdown. Still, if the new standalone security company must surrender a name steeped in brand equity, at least pick a new one that tells me what I’m buying.

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Entry filed under: Branding, Creativity, Marketing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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