It’s a huge accomplishment when you have built a major brand but there is always a temptation to change the name as brands age.
I read a great article about this from the Business Insider, “10 Major Rebranding Disasters and What You Should Learn From Them.” Some rebrand just through a change in logo or look. Others actually change a name because their names imply something outdated, like Radio Shack,which has changed its marketing name to “The Shack”. Who buys radios anymore, right? Lots of chatter out there whether that was a good idea or not. Remember when Kentucky Fried Chicken changed to KFC to avoid “Fried” in their name?
Well, our great Brand has “Banker” in its name which implies we are something we’re not. To be clear, we’re Real Estate. You can’t make a deposit at our local offices. We offer no ATM machines. But, you can find your next home with one of our 100,000 great agents and narrow down your choices with our new website or by watching videos on Coldwell Banker On Location. But you see, Arthur Banker was a founder of our company and he, along with Colbert Coldwell, grew this company from a one office company in San Francisco at the turn of the century to one of the largest (and best) global Real Estate brands in 2010.
Bankers aren’t very popular now either. Goldman Sachs is finding that out and just saw a new book, 13 Bankers, that talks about how 13 Banking Companies took over Wall Street. Not good. But, we are happy to report that the mortgage company that we do business with did no sub prime loans, so we have a clear conscience.
I’m big on this idea of trust and not a big fan of name changes…I also once worked for a major automotive company that changed its name from Datsun almost 30 years ago and is just now fully recovering from the market confusion it created.
Plus I believe its not the name but what you stand for…We have a legacy of strong business ethics and trust as a result of the efforts from the two founders whose names are on my business card, and the many leaders that followed in their footsteps. We have a commitment to innovation, which is why we were the first national real estate brand to launch an iPhone and Droid application, and the first to have a one stop video listing channel on YouTube to make finding properties easier for consumers. And, we have what we think are the best network of agents and brokers in the industry to help consumers find that home of their dreams.
So in case anyone is worried, we are staying Coldwell Banker. Served us well for the last 104 years, feels good for the next 100.
And how did that cow change brand names? Ouch. No Thanks.