My employer has recently re-branded the portion of its empire in which I am, occasionally, employed. You’d need to be fairly sharp-eyed to spot the differences: there is perhaps a slightly different shade of blue coupled with a change of the font for the company name and the order of the subsidiary and holding company names have been switched in all the email addresses. I’m sure these changes will dramatically energise the “business” (I know the free T-shirt has started my corporate juices flowing): though I fear the “business” involved will be that of the printers who will benefit from producing all the new corporate stationery and business cards now needed.
Re-branding does seem weirdly popular: it is almost impossible, after a week away, to visit the supermarket and find all your regular comestible choices given that some marketing whizz will have totally changed the packaging of at least one. On many occasions, this has led to me, “the consumer,” switching to a different brand as I thought they’d ceased stocking my traditional choice – which may represent something of an own goal for the employers of the aforementioned whizz.
Early in February, while I was hiding out in tropical Edinburgh, my local trains changed from being National Express East Anglia to Greater Anglia: reflecting a change in control of the local rail franchise. There has been no detectable improvement in service – indeed, the London-bound departure indicator on Whittlesford Parkway station has been broken for the entire reign of Greater Anglia – but other changes were noticeable in less than a week. Yes, you guessed it: everything was re-branded very quickly. The staff, the trains, even the poster warning you to be careful not to fall over were re-branded at extraordinary speed. Heaven forfend that we passengers should have to endure an incorrectly branded warning on the risks of clumsiness or a map of the network showing the lines in blue rather than red. It reminds me of a sitcom family home just after a child is given a Dymo embossed label maker (circa the 1970s) – absolutely everything that didn’t move fast enough is rapidly labelled with the child’s name.
It is reassuring that the new Dutch owners have not been distracted from the important business of printing their name on everything by the largely irrelevant need to run a rail service. Why waste money on the infrastructure when there is a plant tub in West Runton whose ownership is not clearly marked upon’t!
It should come as no surprise, given the diatribe above, that our title, first (to my knowledge) penned by John Milton, is from Paradise Lost.