Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 2, 2012 02:35 PM
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is currently listed as the 46th best national public university on the highly influential U.S. News & World Report annual rankings, a listing that prospective students and their parents are constantly checking and rechecking while trying to figure out their futures.
For those of you keeping score at home, that puts the school that launched Peyton Manning's football career into a dead tie with the University of Oregon, University of Oklahoma, University of New Hampshire, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Kansas, Florida State, and, if that weren’t enough, North Carolina State-Raleigh.
But who wants to be 46th? Not the University of Tennessee, that’s for sure. Last year, when it was ranked 47th, the university set itself a goal to get into the top 25. Clemson, Rutgers, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities can do it so why can’t they? A major rebranding effort that launched this week should help get them there.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 26, 2012 03:35 PM
Trying to figure out what’s on sale when and then waiting for the next sale to buy particular items can be frustrating to consumers so J.C. Penney Co. — in its first major overhaul of its retail arm since former Apple exec Ron Johnson took over as CEO in November — is attempting to make things much easier.
The company this week announced that its stores are doing away with having seven kazillion different items on different sales simultaneously and just “marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40% so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.”
The move, including the repositioning commercial above, comes as jcpenney, as the chain rebranded itself at the 2011 Oscars, is re-rebranding with a new logo — following the previous year's rebrand at the 2010 Oscars (check out the logo progression below). What was that about trying to avoid consumer confusion?Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2012 05:07 PM
Sir Richard Branson is indeed taking over the world. And now he may be taking over your money.
The billionaire Brit and founder of all things Virgin on earth — including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile — and beyond, with Virgin Galactic aiming to talk regular folks into space — is this week pushing Virgin Money, the Virgin-branded bank that's taking over Northern Rock's 75 branches in the U.K. and 21,000 staff members for £747million ($948.3 million), according to the Mirror.
After the Northern Rock acquisition was announced, Virgin moved to add an annual £60 ($78) fee on every account, but then changed course and decided to offer it as an option, the Mail reports. As a sweetener, the bank will likely “offer perks such as discounts on Virgin flights or gym memberships,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2012 05:07 PM
The Liz Claiborne brand name was sold in November to J.C. Penney so it was inevitable that its parent company, Liz Claiborne Inc., would shed the brand from its name. The inevitable is now official. The 34-year-old fashion company is changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Companies, and will start trading under the ticker symbol FNP in mid-May, in addition to replacing its zippy liz.com corporate domain with fifthandpacific.com.
Claiborne unloaded its Mexx brand in September and then sold its namesake brand to J.C. Penney, along with its Monet brand, two months later for $267.5 million. It also got rid of its Kensie and Dana Buchman brands this fall as it attempted to right its own financial ship. Now FNP is left with three core brands in Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Kate Spade, and a sibling in the mens fashion/accessory brand of Jack Spade line, to focus on.
The new corporate identity may recall Gap's Forth & Towne, Gilt's Park & Bond, and Nordstrom's Treasure & Bond, but CEO William McComb argues that the name is a perfect synthesis of the east coast/west coast stable of brands, as it's "where California cool meets New York chic."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 4, 2012 11:01 AM
In the branding world, Las Vegas stands out as a city so well known that it is in a class by itself. The hotel brands that occupy the Vegas strip are just as famously iconic, so it's a rare event when one of them changes its name.
But on Tuesday, some Sin City visitors may have thought an extended New Year's hangover had them seeing things. That's when the long-standing Hilton name was removed from the Las Vegas Hilton and a new marquee appeared: The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
Opened as the International Hotel in 1969, the property soon became the Las Vegas Hilton when the hotel chain bought it in 1971. But last year, financial troubles led to the hotel-casino seeking to end its agreement with Hilton, and new ownership took effect this year.
The new owners, an investor group that includes Colony Capital LLC, were determined the hotel will remain open for business without any big changes beyond a new name and website (indeed, Flavor Flav used the hotel to launch his vodka before the holiday, LeFlav Straight Up). However, guests staying at the hotel can no longer take advantage of Hilton's hotel loyalty program.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 15, 2011 10:06 AM
Nasir al Wuhayshi was the personal secretary of the now-deceased Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Now, al Wuhayshi is the leader of Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is based in Yemen.
Like his old boss contemplated before he was killed by Navy SEALs in early May, though, al Wuhayshi is thinking that his organization could use a rebrand, an Arab diplomat tells Fox News. After all, al Qaeda has too much “baggage” attached to it.
The diplomat tells Fox that AQAP “is trying to attract more foreign fighters to its cause” and “is increasingly going by the name ‘Ansar al Sharia,’ which means Army of Islamic Law.”
When bin Laden died, it was discovered in his papers that he had thought about rebranding the entire organization to the catchy "Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad," which means Monotheism and Jihad Group, or the even snappier "Jama’at I’Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida," which means Restoration of the Caliphate Group, as possible new names. Now his former underling is following through with the concept.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2011 11:03 AM
Their timing simply could not be better. BankSimple, the banking 3.0 startup we covered in April, has changed its name to Simple and opened its virtual doors (at Simple.com, naturally) to the public. Not really a bank at all, Simple partners with banks and financial institutions to offer money management services online.
Simple is capitalizing on the growing frustration with big banks and the name change, “is a better representation of what we aspire to. It releases us from the constraints of an industry in desperate need of innovation,” writes Joshua Reich, Simple co-founder and CEO, in a blog post.
The public beta follows a September sneak peak on their blog which stated: "The product isn’t finished. It will never be finished. We’re constantly improving. But we’ve now reached the point where we’ve learned as much as possible from testing internally and in a few weeks we’ll be shipping cards to our first real customers."
Simple offers no fees for ATM withdrawals, no monthly management fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, live customer support and dedicated account interfaces for mobile and web platforms. The goal is no less than to overhaul traditional front-end banking as banks are under increasing public scrutiny for their part in the global financial crisis.Continue reading...
what's in a name
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2011 11:25 AM
Overstock.com announced in January that it was rebranding its URL to O.co as a speedier online shortcut to its wares. In June, it unveiled the new name and logo at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA (above) in time for a U2 concert, a signage change that following Overstock's six-year deal in April for naming rights to the home of NFL's Oakland Raiders and the Oakland Athletics MLB franchise.
"Our customers associate 'O' with Overstock.com, which made the transition to O.co seamless. As a Savings Engine, this is the next step in adding more visibility to our shortcut," said Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne in a press release. "Naming the facility O.co Coliseum demonstrates our commitment to seeing through the execution of the new domain."
"Overstock.com is clearly at the forefront of digital marketing and their decision to use a .CO domain in such a big way, underscores their willingness to lead the market and to disrupt the status quo," commented Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet SAS in the same release. "With the exponential growth of mobile commerce, where shaving milliseconds means gaining a strategic competitive advantage, customers around the world can now reach the company's products and services quickly and securely by simply typing O.co — the shortest possible URL in the world."
Now, however, the company is backing off from the new name because customers couldn't find its snappy new URL.Continue reading...