Jonathan over at Dim Bulb has brought to my attention the worst example of image-wrapper branding I have ever seen in my whole life (i.e. "screw the product, let's just change the logo"). This is so bad, its hard to believe its not a spoof. Even Hugo Gaines, the fictional dickhead marketing director from the WTS? book, would have been pushed to do something so daft.
The company in question is Whitbread's Premier Travel Inn. To quote from the official press release, the issue was that:
"Throughout 2006 an extensive research programme was conducted and showed that whilst the PTI product is market leading, the brand does not have the recognition it deserves, especially with leisure users
So, they are "re-branding" with a spend of £13 million, plus £9 million of capital expenditure, making £22 million. Oh, and their largest ever advertising campaign. And the change being made? Cue drum-roll ....dim the lights....hold on tight....they are changing from Premier Travel Inn to...Premier Inn.
Yes, that's right. £22million to take out the world Travel. A word which, as Jonathan points out, they added in the last re-brand back in 2004 from Premier Lodge to Premier Travel Inn. And now, to Premier Inn. And just listen to this load of old bollocks from their marketing director, Gerard Tempest. True "Hugo-speak" that is so cringeworthy I couldn't have written it better myself:
"The re-brand will over-arch everything in the business, and be used as an opportunity to springboard our “guest obsession” activity even further forward.”
Un-be-bloody-believe-a-bubble. Let me just say that last bit again. "An opportunity to springboard our "guest obsession" activity even further forward". Hugo lives and breathes.
And to end, I love Jonathan's take on the added value of this bold branding move:
"What will this mean for consumers? Well, by reducing the corporate name by 1/3, it will be easier to remember. There are probably cost-savings to be had, too: signs can be made smaller, and lighting them will cost less; perhaps a smaller logo will use less paper and ink on statements and correspondence; stitching the logo on company uniforms will require fewer spools of thread."
When it comes to brand bull**** and buzzwords, truth truly is stranger than fiction....