Recently I noticed that one of the oldest betting companies in the UK, Victor Chandler, have decided to change their name to BetVictor. It got me thinking about why companies who have well known household names decide to do this.
Surely if your company has a very well known and established name, that should be a good thing shouldn’t it? I see it as an advantage in a competitive marketplace, when customers can associate with a name they have known for some time, and so are more likely to trust.
But it’s not just Victor Chandler that’s done this, we see it all the time. Norwich Union change to Aviva. Jiff changes to Cif. That sort of thing. You’ve got brand names that everyone knows, and they just seem to change on a whim.
When a company or brand changes name, they’re immediately faced with the issue of re-promoting the new brand all over again, and making sure everyone is aware that Brand X is now known as Brand Y. All that effort and expense but why subject yourself to that? Where is the benefit?
Is it just that some brands get stale, and that a new name might see them as freshening up their service? It’s plausible, but surely there are better ways of going about this, such as a new promotion or special offer. In fact, Victor Chandler was no stranger to promotions, having offered a £25 Victor Chandler free bet for several years. Is that going to be called the BetVictor free bet from now on then?
I’m sure those who know more about marketing that I do would be able to explain the rationale behind these re-branding exercises, but I wonder whether they have any figures to illustrate how much such an exercise costs a company, and whether it’s really worth the money and effort in the long run. Or is it just a way for the marketing guys to justify their large salaries? Any such evidence would certainly make interesting reading!