The One Word Company Rebrand
In my last piece, about the impatient and spoon fed message generation, I opined that growing up with burst messages, no matter the medium, has created a class of employees who basically have a rather short attention span and abbreviated decision making process. Neither is necessarily bad in all cases, but it can cause corporate problems that are increasingly difficult to unwind.
In a culture that is developing a communication method that is limited to 144 characters, acronyms have become more important, and IMHO, that’s not really a good thing.
You not only see this within the hallowed halls of corporate America, but also in their marketing partners, ad agencies, branding companies, pr firms. As in the case of the media gaffs this week in social media, one wonders why the marketing industry is guilty of not researching the marketing efforts of the past, prior to launching into a “new” idea.
In addition to not investigating previous failed (or successful) campaigns, one has to wonder why so often there doesn’t seem to be ‘global research’ into a name, logo, or message – resulting in an occasional offending of a large part of the world’s population.
In order to cater to the “I need the message now” generation (apparently) companies have re-branded (or attempted to). There was a lot of hubbub a few years ago, Pizza Hut was to become simply “The Hut,” and Radio Shack “The Shack.” (Oh, my gawd, our company name has 3 or 4 syllables? We can’t have that!)
(If you’ve ever been in a Radio Shack, which this week some analysts are saying is bound for massive store closures and possible bankruptcy, you know their problem isn’t the name or “having outlived their relevance,” as others opine. The chain needs a new message, but more importantly, better employees, and their being trained on how to interact with customers).
Companies continue to change their names and look, perhaps as a way of just creating a “new message,” I’m not sure. It gets especially goofy when there are made up words, like Comcast becoming “Xfinity.”
The worst offenders are the pharmaceuticals, who seem determined to use up all the remaining X’s and Z’s in the world in their product names. You know what’s funny about that? When they spend their billions running daytime television commercials to convince seniors how much better their lives would be if they just took such and such a pill (whether they have the malady or not) (take one of these pills every day and you don’t have to worry how many times you eat drive through tacos), they’d do well to think for a second whether their targeted demographic will even be able to remember the name of the medication past the end of the spot. Doh!
The marketing and advertising industries are kind of problematic these days, with short messages and the lack of “reasonableness” thinking in creating the message.
Maybe there needs to be an AITR?