Misbranding – Royal Mail to Consignia
The Royal Mail branding fiasco is another example of a failed rebranding and subsequent U-turn in response to consumer backlash
Just one more case study on the perils of attempted rebranding.
Royal Mail, the UK’s national postal service, rebranded as Consignia in the early years of the 21st century. The company decided it no longer wanted its name to be synonymous with “package delivery.” It was also involved in logistics and consumer contact centres, and it was considering many international acquisitions. To better represent the company’s aspirations for expansion and to unite its many divisions, a new name was sought. The new brand’s rollout was a £1.5 million investment.
The public and the media thought that this rebranding was trash and that it ruined the 500-year history of the company. The new moniker was gender-neutral and failed to convey that the firm was a government agency. After getting a lot of negative feedback for almost a year, the company went back to its old name.
Royal Postal sought to rebrand so that customers would see that company offered more than just mail services. Instead, they settled on a moniker that was widely derided.
Most people didn’t get the reference to the new brand name, and nobody liked the look of the design. To “consign” something means to “give” it to someone else or “hand it over” to be stored or sold. Theoretically, the name could not be more indicative of the company’s mission. However, it wasn’t well received by the public.
The media used the band’s name, Consignia, as a club to beat the group. Until the very concept of the name itself becomes obsolete, it will remain trapped.
Within two years, they had completely abandoned the moniker. The corporation spent an additional million dollars on the rebranding to Royal Mail.
- Choosing to ignore popular support for the institution’s original moniker
- Nomenclature error
- No predetermined strategy for communicating
One year of using the name Consignia paid well, and the corporation has now changed its name back to Royal Mail. The introduction of the Consignia brand in January 2001 cost a total of £1.5 million. About a year and a half later, the firm spent £1 million rebranding as Royal Mail.
What We’ve Learned
- Although this is not always the case, rebrands that change too many features run the risk of losing brand identification. It’s important to remember that consumers may have strong emotional ties to certain aspects of a brand or product.
- Changing the name of a company is especially risky if it wants to offer a lot of different products or services. When rebranding, it’s important to choose a name that honours the history and reputation of the old version. When the company changed its colour scheme, the brand’s voice was lost and the company’s uniqueness was lost.
- Thirdly, it’s crucial to get the target demographic involved and consult on the branding in a meaningful way. To design a logo that will endure the test of time and be instantly recognisable, it is essential to first get an insight into the preferences of the target market. Definitive market research must be conducted without room for doubt or ambiguity.