Santander, re-branding and Vic Reeves…

| November 16, 2009

I wasn’t that surprised when Spanish banking giant Santander announced that it’d be axing UK high street brands Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester. But when insurer Norwich Union rebranded as Aviva, I wondered why…

Re-branding silliness

It costs a fortune in time and effort to create a brand. And a great brand is commercial gold dust. So is rebranding a good idea? Ordinarily I’d say no. Take Norwich Union. They enjoyed an immensely strong brand until they changed their name to something that sounds as though Vic Reeves made it up. Uvavu, Eranu… Aviva! Why throw away decades of invaluable brand equity, recognition, awareness and loyalty? No idea, but one can only assume it was commercially advantageous.

But Santander’s rebranding of Abbey, B&B and Alliance and Leicester is different. All three were disgraced by the credit crunch, their brands seriously damaged. Instead of standing for trust and familiarity they reflected avarice and short sightedness. Here, re-branding seems like the best move.


Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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