Trademarks with Training Wheels (TM): RCN Chicago rebrands as ASTOUND
RCN seeks to consolidate its brand
Today the Chicago Sun-Times reported that RCN Chicago would rebrand itself ASTOUND BROADBAND Powered by RCN. RCN is also changing the names of various other broadband firms that it controls. The idea is to consolidate many marks under the new mark. Why do this? Many companies face the question of how to handle brand architecture as they expand. Is the original brand or any of the acquired brands suitable to stand for the whole company? Each brand likely has some consumer views associated with it. Will we have consumers who drop the brand because of who acquired the brand?
There are always dangers to the rebrand. When one rebrands the company makes itself open to loss of customers who say the old brand in gone and the new brand does not stand for anything that the customer wants. If a brand chooses to go with an entirely new brand that the company risks alienating the entire customer base.
Assuming that one has goodwill associated with one’s mark and one decides to keep the house brand, then there is the middle course of choosing a new mark by finding a way to work in the new brand. This was RCN’s election. RCN chose to use the statement POWERED BY RCN with the new ASTOUND wordmark. We shall see it this works. This is the same approach that was use by BP when it bought the AMOCO brand. The stations were rebranded BP but the pumps continued to same AMOCO fuels.
If you have thoughts on this, then please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim Faier