I am constantly amazed at the rebranding and branding efforts that go on without any research, internal staff input or concern for the customer – or fans. These audiences can make or break a company, product or team.
Recently, I’ve come across two examples of how NOT to unveil a new brand:
#1: Portland Timbers New Logo – I don’t disagree with the changes or design, but this shows how crowds can quickly turn a positive thing into a booing fest. Maybe a brand video wasn’t the best idea in this case. Instead, why not use the entire team in uniform with the new logo – it might not have gotten the same response the video did (fans like players, not logos).
#2: WWE Renaming – Taking the word wrestling out of a wrestling organization? Hum. It’s hard to change the perception of an organization without evaluating the brand, including the name. If the mission is to be in the entertainment business (and I agree, they don’t do a whole lot of actual wrestling do they?), what the heck – change it. I vote for SOFME Soap Operas For Men Entertainment (given the current soap opera lineup is failing).
Like WWE, many companies use an acronym if the full name doesn’t fit or they want to change perceptions (for example AFLAC and BP). So really, nothing changed, but what they failed to do was give the wrestlers confidence what they do as, well, as wrestlers. They weren’t told first. How’s that for a slap in the face. I sure wouldn’t want Bret Hart mad at me.
To get it right, think internal first: employees, front line and stakeholders. This can also mean including those in the inner circle, such as loyal customers and fans. Then, and only then, should the media and external audiences be part of the process.
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