Is Rebranding Really a Thing?

Some claim a company’s brand is its most valuable asset, while a logo can have a powerful impact on consumer behaviors. Household names like Coca-Cola, Tropicana and Gap are just a few examples of companies that have enjoyed tremendous success and endured rebranding failures. But how much can packaging, imagery and marketing tactics really inject new life into an unchanged product? And will a customer’s relationship with a brand really prevent them from buying into a competitor?


Featured Guests

Episode Highlights

  • 6:33 – What makes up a company’s brand
  • 13:58 – Why consumers form relationships with brands
  • 17:55 – Reasons a company would benefit from a rebranding effort
  • 29:11 – Tips to carry out a successful rebrand
  • 40:56 – Dean Paul Jarley’s final thoughts


Episode Transcription


Paul Jarley:                         FTU became UCF in 1978. Since that time would become the Knights, the Golden Knights, and the Knights again. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC in 1991. Backrub became Google in 1997. Deloitte added a green dot in 2003. Tropicana changed the packaging of its orange juice in 2009 and then changed it back. CFE Credit Union became Addition Financial in 2019. In all but the first case, I’m pretty sure some rebranding genius got paid a fortune. But seriously, does any of this really matter?

Paul Jarley:                         This show is all about separating hype from fundamental change. I’m Paul Jarley. Dean of the College of Business here at UCF. I’ve got lots of questions. To get answers, I’m talking to people with interesting insights into the future of business. Have you ever wondered, “Is this really a thing?” Onto our show.

Paul Jarley:                         I’ve been known to tell staff in meetings that I’m not the dean of that. It’s my way of letting people know that I think their issue isn’t worth my time. I hit upon this phrase back in my days at the University of Kentucky. The college had just gone through a rebranding effort, and one of my colleagues didn’t like our new stationary. He was refusing to use it, and he wanted me to tell the dean that he should get a pass. After listening to this for 20 minutes I told him that I refuse to be the associate dean of stationary and asked him to get out of my office. The phrase just stuck with me.

Paul Jarley:                         My marketing colleagues, on the other hand, would disagree with me. They think a company’s brand is its most important asset and that any rebranding campaign is a process that is fraught with peril, like employees not embracing the change. Meh, maybe. Or maybe it’s just a way for consultants to charge big bucks to help you design a new logo that they claim with rival the swoosh and make you the darlings of consumers everywhere.

Paul Jarley:                         A few weeks ago we hosted our last dean speaker series of the academic year, and given that our sponsor, CFE Credit Union, had just changed its name to Addition Financial, we thought it was the perfect time to have Dr. Caroline Massiah address the whole rebranding thing. It was such an engaging discussion that we decided to turn it into our latest podcast.

Carolyn Massiah:             I’m going to begin with a quick, funny travel story, and it will help us lead into the discussion.

Carolyn Massiah:             This past weekend I had to go, not had, I wanted to, I went to Boston. My goddaughter got married and, first of all, for those of us in Florida, when we travel anywhere, we forget that the rest of the world doesn’t have the same weather all year around, so I experienced three seasons in three days in Boston.

Carolyn Massiah:             The other thing that happened, we get to the airport to return home and my teenage son and I, my husband was staying behind for business, my teenage son and I, we board the plane. We get on the plane. We do what I think is probably the slowest taxi ever. I’m thinking at this point I can walk to Orlando quicker. We get all the way to the end of the runway and then we sit there, and I’m thinking there must be many planes. But at the point the pilot has not said one word to us. All of a sudden you feel the plane make a deep U-turn, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, a delay, maybe a mechanical issue.” We get back to the gate. When we’re pulling up to the gate we see flashing reds lights, they open the door of the plane, Homeland Security gets on the plane. They take a man and a woman off in handcuffs. I can’t even make that up. I’m like, “Oh my goodness.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Then then pilot comes on and says, “Well, I don’t know if you know, but since 9/11 we run the flight passenger list until wheels up, and we take a slower taxi if for some reason we are not able to clear a passenger’s name from that security watch list, and if we still aren’t able to clear them, Homeland Security has us return. We’ve deemed there are two people on the flight weren’t safe to fly, and that’s why we had to return.”

Carolyn Massiah:             We finally took off, were supposed to land here Monday night at 10:00 PM, landed at 1:30. The best laid plans of travel. Why do I say that? We have several companies, including our host today, who have gone or are about to go through rebranding, and it’s a journey.

Carolyn Massiah:             Most times when we travel we think about the point B, the destination. However, we find that when we travel, sometimes it’s not the where, where we end up, the location where we end up, that will cause us the angst, the most pain, hopefully the most excitement and happiness as well, but it’s the what of the trip, the why of the trip, and the how of the trip.

Carolyn Massiah:             When we talk today about navigating, rebranding, that’s what I want to focus on. The first thing, whenever you go on a trip, you want to make certain that we’re all on the same page or will go with the same map, if you will. I want to start with first talking about what is rebranding. The reason I say that is because, and I know I have a couple of marketing practitioners in the room and we all at times think, “I know, we’re doing it now, I know what rebranding is”, but sometimes we take a different view where I just want to help expand the view of what rebranding is.

Carolyn Massiah:             Then I want to talk briefly about some reasons why we would choose to go through this experience of rebranding, and then I’m going to finish up with five very quick toolbox methods you can take with you as far as how to do it in the most painless processes possible.

Carolyn Massiah:             In order to get on the same map let’s first talk about brand. When I say brand to some people they immediately think of the logo, they think of a name, and we’ll see in a moment that it’s so much more than that. But what’s important are two words here, the brand of your company, and we’ll talk about what all that entails in one moment, the brand of your company identifies your company, the value that you’re creating for your customers, how you’re delivering that value, that’s the brand, that identification. Even as important as identifying your own company, remember that a big role of your brand is to differentiate yourself from the competition and hopefully in a positive way.

Carolyn Massiah:             I just said that brand is a little bit more than a logo, so let’s talk about some different elements of the brand when we’re talking about brand because when I talk about rebranding, once again, I want to make certain we are on the same map.

Carolyn Massiah:             First and foremost, a big part of brand is the brand name, the brand name. We think about some brands that we see and we automatically have a thought about, if I say Nike you automatically think competition, sports, aggressiveness, achievement, winning, so already just in the brand name there is identification and definitely a differentiation from the competition. Here’s the thing though, when we talk about brand we are going to expand our view because it’s so much more than that.

Carolyn Massiah:             In this day and age we also have technology, social media, digital media marketing being such a big part of the brand. We’ve taken a URL and made it into a verb. Now in the Merriam-Webster dictionary Google is a verb. I’m actually putting money on the fact that within the next two years Uber will be a verb. We already use it that way, right? When we talk about, the URL is a very important part, a very important part of the brand.

Carolyn Massiah:             Logos and symbols. I’m [inaudible 00:09:03] talk about product and we’re going to talk about people here. I talked about Nike. First, anyone know that way that we became a Nike school instead of Adidas school, UCF? I’ll tell you really quickly because it’s actually pretty interesting. It’s truly a marketing story. We were an Adidas school and then two young men came to play here, came to play basketball, and their last name happened to be Jordan. Michael Jordan’s sons came to play with us briefly. We were Adidas school, which mean Adidas had to tow. When the first Jordan player, the first Jordan son, playing his first game said, “I’ll wear Adidas everything but I’m wearing Nike shoes. I’m Jordan.” Adidas gave us an ultimatum, should the Jordan player take the court in anything but Adidas shoes, they’d pull the sponsorship. Talk about a marketing dilemma there for us, for Jordan the son, Jordan the father. Can you imagine the PR that will come from having the Air apparent be wearing Adidas shoes on the basketball court? Oh my goodness.

Carolyn Massiah:             The young man did take the court in Jordan shoes. Within 24 hours Adidas pulled their sponsorship. Nike got to come in like the knight in shining armor and pick up that sponsorship and that’s how we became a Nike school. A little bit of trivia for you to take with you. That brand is so powerful we only need to see the swoosh.

Carolyn Massiah:             I said product, let’s talk about people. I’m a big fan of music, and actually one of the artists I absolutely love, love, love, and I was very fortunate to see him in concert at one point was Prince. If you don’t know the backstory behind that period where he was not Prince but the symbol, and we’d called him the artist formerly known as Prince. His original record label, he wanted to separate from them, and they said, “Okay, you can go but the Prince name belongs to us.” He said, “Okay, well this is my name from now on until my contract expires.” Once the contract expired then he became Prince again. A symbol, even for a person, is a big part of a brand.

Carolyn Massiah:             Characters. We live in the land of characters. Whenever you fly into the Orlando airport, you have the Disney greeters, and they have the white Mickey glove on. You don’t need anything else, all you need is that white glove and children just loose their minds, “Mickey! It’s Mickey!” We live in the land of characters.

Carolyn Massiah:             Slogans. Going back to Nike. Nike says, “Just do it.” We don’t know what it is but we’re going to get on it. Just do it. Slogans become very powerful.

Carolyn Massiah:             I’m a veteran of the U.S. army, I was a combat medic, joined when I was 17, seems like another person lived that part of my life, but it was wonderful experience. Why do I say that though? Actually, U.S. army has really struggled with what their slogan is. When I joined it was be all you can be. I was like, “Okay, I’m on it. I’m going to be all I can be.” In the late ’90s, early 2000s they went to army of one. Well those of us who had served… Any prior military people? Any prior military? Those of us who have served in army realize, “Well, they train you from day one that you’re not a one person. Now, all of a sudden, they’re telling me I’m a army of one? That’s kind of strange.” Now it’s army strong, which I think is a good one. The other one is soldier for life. I don’t know if that one is going to stick with the army strong, so they’ve really struggled with their changes in their slogans.

Carolyn Massiah:             Last but not least, a big part, which is underestimated, colors and any relevant sounds. Those of us who grew up in the original AOL time period… Okay, so I have some friends. You were waiting for that sound and telling someone, “Don’t pick up the phone, I’m on.” It’s like, Okay.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Colors as well. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re rebranding just when we change a package, but in the consumer’s mind we’ve rebranded. In the consumer’s mind we have rebranded. Colors and symbols are so extremely important.

Carolyn Massiah:             Talk about the value of brand, I saw this one time and I said, “I’m going to have to keep this in my slides because it’s just funny.” Because it’s so true. Here we have a wonderful teapot. Put a price on it, $25. Everyone is like, “Ooh, okay.” I change it just a little bit. We’ve went from a teapot to a ipot. It’s radical, it’s innovative. I bet it has a charging USB port on it too. It’s so funny because it’s so simple because it’s so true. That’s how powerful your brand is. We form relationships with brands. We form relationships with brands.

Carolyn Massiah:             Why do consumers form relationship with brands? Let me talk about your grocery shopping for a moment. You go grocery shopping in the store. We put on our track in our mind, “Grocery shopping track, put it on.” Then we shop according to that, “Okay, I get my Pop-Tarts, I get my Kellogg’s, I get my…” We shop according to brand. Now, and you’ll all relate to this when you go grocery shopping, all of a sudden you get to that aisle… I love my raisin and spice Quaker oatmeal in the morning. I’m a creature of habit, so raisin and spice Quaker oatmeal in the morning. I get to the aisle where the Quaker oatmeal is and I see the apple one, “Eh, I don’t like that one.” I see the maple and brown sugar one, “Eh.” I don’t see the raisin and spice one. It’s not there, but above it they have a different of the raisin and spice. “Oh, but I don’t know, that’s not the one I usually get.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Honest to goodness, how many of you have done this? You were standing right there in the aisle, you don’t see your brand there, what do we do? We step back like it’s magically going to appear because we did that. Then we actually may stand there and we’ll look to the side like maybe they moved it because we are that linked to that brand. A lot of times that link to a brand isn’t out of loyalty, it’s out of ease. I don’t want to have to think. Can you imagine if you had to make a decision about every individual product every time you shopped? You think about if you get a new roommate or a new significant other, a new spouse, and you go grocery shopping together and all of a sudden they’re reaching for something and we’re just like, “Oh we don’t buy that.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Brands help our consumers make the right purchase. It helps us make an easy purchase as humans in general are what I like to call cognitive misers. We don’t want to really put a lot of thought into this. This should be easy for us, which why when we rebrand we want to make certain we don’t confuse our customer.

Carolyn Massiah:             One of the main things, one of the main values behind a brand is that it helps facilitate that purchase. It helps establish loyalty because I know I always buy. We always say that, “Well no, I always get that.” You’re saying you’re loyal. “I always get that.” Which means then that if we’ve done well with our brand to begin with we’re protected from competition because when I’m standing there in the grocery aisle I can’t even fathom sliding down or up to the next brand because that’s what I always buy. That’s the one I can count on. That’s the one that’s reliable. It helps protect from the competition. Some of you, I bet, have made a stop at an additional store on the way home to get that brand. I see heads shaking, I have friends. That means then our brand is an asset and impacts our market value.

Carolyn Massiah:             Now we are all on the same page, the same map on this journey of rebranding. That’s the what of the travel. Let’s talk about the why. Why would we rebrand? Perfect, our host today, Addition Financial, a little backstory.

Carolyn Massiah:             As of June 1st, I’ll have been at UCF for 14 years. 14 years.

Speaker 6:                           Woohoo!

Carolyn Massiah:             Yeah, that’s a woohoo. At 20 years at UCF they give you this big desert-size plate of medallion you can wear to graduations, so I’m six years away. Six years away from the medallion. When I came here on June 1st, I immediately joined the Credit Union. At that time it was UCF Credit Union. That’s actually how I saved it in my Quicken, UCF Credit Union. I’m a creature of habit, it still says UCF Credit Union in my banking software. As time and geography spread, it went from UCF Credit Union to Central Florida Educators. Now, as the company has grown in such a positive way, we’ve moved now from Central Florida Educators to Addition Financial.

Carolyn Massiah:             One of the first reasons you might rebrand is because of growth. Whether it’s growth domestically or internationally, that is one way, one reason why you might go on this journey of rebranding.

Carolyn Massiah:             Walmart originally was always low prices, “We’re the value-based store. Always low prices.” When, in 2003/2004, the country went through a recession, and there were those customers who stepped down from other brands to shop at Walmart, they wanted to be able to hold on to them when the economy improved, so they repositioned themselves from always low prices to save money live better, so that hopefully then they weren’t perceived always as, “that’s the bargain basement low-value option” for those who had switched down during the recession. So, sometimes we might do a rebrand because of just repositioning to either gain or keep new audiences.

Carolyn Massiah:             Another reason we might rebrand? New CEOs. 50% of our largest American companies will see a change in CEO within the next four years. The why of that doesn’t always mean success, and I’ll tell you a little story about JCPenney. I see some heads shaking, so some of you know the story.

Carolyn Massiah:             JCPenney decided to let go of their CEO. They hired a new CEO. Anyone know the company where that CEO came from? Apple. That’s going to be important to know in just one moment. I will tell you that JCPenney has made their bread and butter on door buster sales, on coupons, on Saturday door buster sales. Their most loyal customers live for the sale. Their most loyal customers live for someone circling their receipt at the end saying you saved this much. That’s what they live for. They hired a new CEO. The new CEO said, “We’re not going to do sales anymore.” Everyone was like, “What? No sales?” Remember he came from Apple. What does Apple not do? Sales. He said, “No, we’re not going to do sales anymore. Instead, what we’re going to do is we’re going to mark all the clothing at the lowest price it would eventually sell for anyway, and we’re going to call it fair and square deal pricing.”

Carolyn Massiah:             If you remember JCPenney implemented that square in their logo and everyone was like, “I don’t know, what’s the square?” Fair and square pricing. So they said, “Okay, no sales. Lowest price possible, yay.” They introduced it. Customers come into the store. “Where is the sales rack?” “No, we don’t do sales anymore. It’s marked at the lowest price possible. You’re already going to pay the lowest price.” “So you’re not having a sale?” “No, you don’t understand, we are saving you more than you probably would have saved before with coupons, and we…” “So, there’s no sale is what I’m hearing.” In two months they lost 30% of their sales. They’re like, “No, you don’t understand!” So then they enlisted different actors and spokespersons saying, “No, it’s a fair and square deal. No sales. You don’t need a sale. We are selling it to you cheaper than if you were searching for the coupon.” And they’re like, “But that’s what we like.” So they let go of that CEO. They went back to the original CEO and said, “See, what had happened was…”

Carolyn Massiah:             Other times we may decide to change because of an outdated image or we want people to think of us as more than what we are. Dunkin’ Donuts. Another interesting thing about being in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is home to them. So, if you’ve ever gone to Seattle and every three feet there’s a Starbucks, it’s like that in Massachusetts. Dunkin’ Donuts is everywhere, except they’re not Dunkin’ Donuts anymore. As of this year, it’s just Dunkin’. Why? Because they want to reposition themselves as having more than donuts. They’ve expanded their menu option, and they want people to think of them that way. Unfortunately, a Donuts just rolls off my tongue, because I’m like, “Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts.” So they’ll have a little bit of time with that, but overtime they’ve changed quite a bit going from focusing on coffee to the coffee and donuts, and now you see they’ve even actually moved the coffee out of their logo and just Dunkin.

Carolyn Massiah:             You could have changed because you’ve had a rough time with the current brand. Altria is actually who?

Speaker 3:                           Philip Morris.

Carolyn Massiah:             Philip Morris. Enough said. In 2003, because at that point the conglomerate was Philip Morris and Kraft, but they’d eventually sold off Kraft, but they were like, “Well we don’t want that halo effect from Philip Morris onto the Kraft brand.” So, they went to being the Altria Group.

Carolyn Massiah:             Mergers, acquisitions and demergers. Another big rebranding that’s happened here in our area, Florida Hospital moving to AdventHealth. A lot of that came out of different purchases that they’d made that has also expanded them beyond the geographical area of Florida. You don’t want to be in Tennessee and you’re like, “This is Florida Hospital? I’m confused. Did I take a wrong turn?”

Carolyn Massiah:             Changing markets. Now, this is a pretty interesting one with Mastercard, and it has a lot to do with different readers. The more that they’re using mobile payment in things, Mastercard actually first of all figured out by having this lettering in the middle and the placement of this logo, it would impede processing of mobile payment. So, what they did first of all was make this a smooth logo and then move the Mastercard down in order to answer to that changing market. That happened at the beginning of this year.

Carolyn Massiah:             Corporate identity development. I’ll talk about two different ways there.

Carolyn Massiah:             First of all Gap. Gap decided, “Maybe we need to differentiate the different brands.” You go to the mall and you see right next to each other Gap, Gap kids, Gap baby, Gap dogs, I don’t know, but it’s the same logo. Well they decided, “Well now we’re gonna switch it up. We wanted to differentiate it.” That lasted for six months, and then they are like, “Oh we realized the identity that people know is that square gap.”

Carolyn Massiah:             When I was in the military there were two financial organizations that served us. You have young individuals, particularly on the enlisted side, and twice a month they give you what we thought was this huge amount of money, and we’re like, “Wow! What do we do with it?” Well, they made it mandatory for us to go see one of the two organizations. One of them was USAA, which is still obviously a very powerful, very large financial institution. The other one at the time was named USPA. Here’s what they figured out. USAA was the older of the two companies, but USPA figured out what? We were confused. We thought it was the same company. So, USPA actually went through a total rebrand in the mid ’90s, and they’re now First Command because they figured out that the military people were having, we were having difficulty differentiating between USAA and USPA. In particularly, when you have the same target market of one group and you’re marketing the same services, they needed to really grab that corporate identity, and so they became First Command.

Carolyn Massiah:             When Pandora chose their new logo, the one P, the single P, PayPal had a little problem. One of the biggest complaints people got was if you have both these apps on your phone… I see some heads are shaking, I have friends. When both of those apps are on your phone, you get kind of confused. Actually, PayPal sued Pandora over that, and that’s why your Pandora logo now looks like sort of a rainbow logo to differentiate that.

Carolyn Massiah:             Last but not least, when you have a company, Procter & Gamble sort of the golden calf, if you will, of marketing and consumer packaged goods in this country, when you have a company like Procter & Gamble, such a long history, 1863. When you have a company like them that overtime they’ve acquired so many different brands, they had a big choice to make as far as branding goes. Do they put P&G on everything or do they maintain those individual brands? Both of them were the pros and cons. Obviously they chose to, on the very, very, very back of every products there’s a small P&G. Most American consumers don’t realize that, so they think, “Well I’m buying Gain because Tide tries to rip you off” and P&G is like, “It’s okay, you have choices.” They’re both P&G.

Carolyn Massiah:             In that particular case they’ve kept the individual brands. Of course those of us those who are marketing practitioners know that they are the world’s largest single spinder on advertising because of that, because they have those multiple brands that they have to support because of that.

Carolyn Massiah:             I want to wrap up with a toolbox-kind of thing to take with you. When you’re going through rebrand or even thinking about going through rebranding, first of all hopefully you’ve gone through that list of why and your why shows up on that list because you never want to undergo a rebranding effort without having a really good reason why that’s happening. You don’t ever want to go on a very long trip unless you know why you’re doing it.

Carolyn Massiah:             How do we do it? I’m going to go with my favorite be nicer during your customers during the rebrand. Be nicer to your customers. What do I mean?

Carolyn Massiah:             First of all N. Notify your customers as soon as possible that there might be a change coming. I had a good friend of mine, we did our MBA program together, and he went on to work for an advertising firm. He was not on this particular account, yay, with Tropicana. Tropicana decided they wanted something fresh and new for their containers. They spent right at about $35 million on this redesign and here is what happened. Remember when you go grocery shopping we are cognitive misers and we’re on the shopping track and we’re like, “Grab this, grab this”, get to the refrigerator aisle, “Where is the Tropicana? I don’t see the Tropicana. I don’t see my orange with the straw. Where is it?” I always tell my students that for me, going to the grocery store, I can spend an hour or so even more in the grocery store. You know why? It’s just so much fun watching consumers, and this was when I almost wanted to take and have a long island iced tea and a little seti chair and just sit at the refrigerator and watch people go through this because you see that process. Then they ask the grocery store person, “Oh you don’t have Tropicana in?” “Oh yeah, no, there’s Tropicana.” “No, that’s not the Tropicana I buy.” “Oh, no, it’s the same, it’s the packaging.” “No, it’s not.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Over two months, they lost 20% of their sales just because they changed the package and they didn’t tell them. They didn’t tell customers the change was coming. They had to pull all those packages, so not only beyond the money they spent on the redesign, the sales they lost, they then had to pull all the rest of the packaging.

Carolyn Massiah:             When the new container came out, the clear one, all of you remember seeing the Tropicana commercials where they’re like, “A new, clear container! Look, the oranges are going in! Look, it’s Tropicana!” As soon as we think there might be a change, let our consumers know.

Carolyn Massiah:             Introduce that new brand with a clear explanation why. You don’t like change. We don’t like change. I’ll tell you how much people don’t like change. I was telling this story to someone the other day, and I could write books on my students, but one time I had a quiz due on a Friday. I always have quizzes due at 11:55 PM on Friday. Not midnight, learned my lesson, people don’t know what midnight is, so 11:55 PM. I realized there was a home game on that Saturday, also we were in the middle of a religious holiday Sunday, on that day was going to be the start of a religious holiday, so I was like, “Well, okay, well go Knights. Let me extend that date out to Tuesday.” I sent out an e-mail and you think the expression or the comment you would get would be, “Oh wow, great, thanks”, and one student e-mailed me and said, “But I planned on it being due on Friday. You really messed up my schedule.” I e-mailed back, I said, “Well it’s open, you know, you can go ahead and do it. Just pretend that it’s due still today.” And he wrote back and he said, “I can’t, I now know the truth.” I can’t make that up. I’m going to write a book, I’m going to write a book.

Carolyn Massiah:             Introduce the brand, the new brand, the new logo, the new symbol, the new color, whatever it is as soon as possible. I had the very good fortune to work with OUC when they were going through their rebranding efforts several years ago as they were focusing more on being an environmentally conscious company, and I was working on doing some focus groups for them. Never during that time did we enter the focus groups even thinking about the actual logo. It was more about the tag line underneath. Thank goodness we did that though because when we introduced the concept of environmentally friendly company to the customers, seven out of the ten focus groups someone noted, if you remember, the old logo had a water drop, and it bothered people, and they said, “Well how can you say you’re environmentally friendly? You have a leaky water faucet.” We would never have thought of that. We would never have thought of that unless we had introduced that before, which is why now the OUC logo does not have the water drop. So, introduce that logo as soon as possible.

Carolyn Massiah:             C. Co-brand if at all possible. Many of us have had BrightHouse as a service provider. Of course our wonderful football team plays in the BrightHouse stadium, played in the BrightHouse stadium. They went through a transition and over a time period they told us, “We’re becoming Spectrum. We’re becoming Spectrum. We are becoming Spectrum.” Once again, remember, we don’t want sudden change because it will be a problem. Customers equate that consistency with reliability.

Carolyn Massiah:             Get the customer engaged with the new brand, and fortunately we have wonderful social media to help us with that. I’ll tell you a story. Old Spice is a Procter & Gamble brand. Old Spice is one of their older brands, and it got to the point where most people said, “Oh, Old Spice, that’s like my grandfather’s cologne.” That’s [inaudible 00:35:33] Old Spice. Their sales were plummeting, they were on their way to try to decide whether they put that brand in sleep status, but then they did some focus groups, and they figured out that 60% of men’s personal care items are bought by women. Makes sense, right?

Carolyn Massiah:             They decided then to reposition and rebrand and target that audience.

Old Spice Ad:                     Hello ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using lady’s scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. It’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again. The tickets are now a diamond. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.

Carolyn Massiah:             They started that campaign and saw a 300% increase in their web traffic and their sales doubled from the previous year. Now, they have a whole social media campaign around that. They now started a new one, which is great. I can relate as a mother of two older sons. They have one of mother’s whose sons are going off to college and everything and how you deal with that. They just started engaging the customer with the brand. But that’s a rebrand.

Carolyn Massiah:             Last but not least in being nicer to our customers, we want to reassure them. We want to reassure our customers that in the changing of a brand, the changing of a logo, the changing of a tag line, the changing of a company name, we are still delivering the same, if not more, value to the customer.

Carolyn Massiah:             UPS, company that’s been around a long time, and then throughout the ’70, ’80s and ’90s they had the UPS with the package on top because they’re like, “We’re a delivery company.” But then they said, “Well, no. We want to focus less on delivery and wider on logistics overall.” So, they started that new campaign what can brown do for you. In that they told consumer both B to B and B to C. They told consumers, “What can we do for you besides just put our hands on your package and get it from point A to B?” They made certain to reassure customers, “Don’t worry, we’re still doing that, but we want to do more for you while we are doing that.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Sort of a tool/chest kind of thing to take with you while you’re working through a rebrand or even thinking about going through a rebrand, be nicer to your customers. Notify them that it’s coming as soon as possible. Introduce the new brand. Co-brand with that existing brand if at all possible. Engage the customers in some way, and fortunately, as I say, with social media we have that capability to do that unlike any other time in marketing history. Reassure them you’re still the same company and you’re giving more value, not less.

Carolyn Massiah:             I’ll finish with my own rebranding story, and actually dean Jarley kind of prepped that when he talked about how many students I’ve had, and they really kind of take Dr. Massiah to a whole new level, so it’s like me, I even look at the person going, “Wow! Dr. Massiah.”

Carolyn Massiah:             Two years ago, almost two years ago I got remarried, and before that we were engaged. My husband is from Brazil, very strong, Latin man. We were having a conversation one day and I said, “Well you know, I don’t, I don’t… Carlos I’m really sorry but I don’t think I’m gonna be able to change my name. I mean, I’m Dr. Massiah.” He says, “Well, no. I want you to be Parera, I want you to be Parera.” I said, “Oh, okay, well let’s just table that conversation. We’ll come back to it.” “I’ll sell you on it. I can sell ice to Eskimos. I’ll sell you it.”

Carolyn Massiah:             We go out to breakfast one morning. The manager of the restaurant who had me in class several years ago. He came over to me and he says, “Oh hi Dr. Massiah, it’s so great to see you.” I said, “Oh, let me introduce you to my fiance.” He never even turned to him. You would think I just told this man Santa died. He said, “You’re not gonna be Dr. Massiah anymore? What are you gonna be? I mean, you have to be… You’re Dr. Massiah. You’re gonna change your name? How are you gonna [inaudible 00:40:16]?” I was like, “No, it’s okay, it’s okay. I’m still gonna be Dr. Massiah. I’m gonna keep Dr.” He said, “Oh, okay, okay. Oh my goodness, because you’re Dr. Massiah.” And then I said, “Okay, so once again, here is my fiance.” He walks away, my husband turns to me and says, “I understand.”

Carolyn Massiah:             So, in order to follow my own, I’m slowly co-branding.

Speaker 5:                           In a happy home.

Carolyn Massiah:             Exactly, exactly, slowly co-branding. Thank you for letting me share a little bit of my wisdom and knowledge with you this morning.

Paul Jarley:                         I still don’t want to be the dean of stationary, but Carolyn provides a convincing case that names and symbols matter. Would UCF have achieved regional dominance if it had remained FTU? It’s hard to say. Rebranding is clearly a risky business. The downside seems to outweigh the upside in a lot of cases, and if you have to explain the rebranding to people, well, you’re probably losing. This is why I don’t think it’s an accident that many of the most radical rebranding efforts had been motivated by a desire to escape a negative association in the minds of customers. You want them to forget that bad experience and have little to lose in becoming something different. It’s the one time you want the marketing to be out in front of the reality. What do you think?

Paul Jarley:                         Check us out online and share your thoughts at You can also find extended interviews with our guests and notes from the show.

Paul Jarley:                         Special thanks to my producer, Josh Miranda, and the whole team at the Office of Outreach and Engagement here at the UCF College of Business and thank you for listening. Until next time, charge on.