What do Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Google have in common? Well apart from being some of the most successful companies in the world, they are also some of the most common household names in the world. Indeed, Coca-Cola, is according to studies, the second most recognised word across the globe, second only to “OK”.
Becoming such a household name does not just occur, but rather it requires expert marketing, establishing a relationship with customers, understanding what’s driving your business, a decent logo and much, much more. The internet is littered with posts about becoming a brand and how brands can be built.
At Curated Media we like to put a twist on things, so this week in our “Let’s talk about” series, we thought we would look at what happens when a brand changes and how the process can be made simpler for your firm and more importantly, your customers. Today’s brand is not quite as big as Nike or other global icons but still provides a fine service that is known throughout the UK.
Last week, almost out of nowhere, Thetrainline.com became Trainline. A company that had millions of customers, with over 20 million visitors to their website, were ranked number one in both the "Travel" and "Transportation" and had over 7.4 million app downloads opted to change their name almost out of the blue. Clearly, it was not a change to try and become more successful, so what drove the change and has the transition been seamless?
The Trainline, sorry, just Trainline, wanted to ditch their old school image of being a .com service despite a lot of their marketing in the past focusing on their web address and the full name.A press release from the company cited that the reason for the name change was “Trainline recognising that there is a massive growth in the UK with more passengers buying train tickets online and through mobile. The brand continues to invest in its innovative customer mobile experience.”
With 7.4 million app users, it can be argued that the decision taken by Trainline makes logical sense and could pay off by expanding their mobile market.
Changing or evolving your brand is never an easy thing, and it can be exceptionally daunting. Although Trainline’s transition was swift (to some it felt like it was overnight) they did do a lot of things that deserve plaudits. Customers were informed through their email addresses and apps that the company name was changing, with the emails including a new footnote showing the new logo. Those who have the app on their mobile phone were also notified, some by a push notification about the change.
Apps will no doubt reflect the new brand and image of Trainline upon the next update. The website has been updated and according to numerous sources, a new advertising campaign is to launch in September informing customers of the change and reassuring them that the service remains the same. One of the most important things that often goes under the radar when rebranding is the press. Trainline received a massive amount of press with most local and some national newspapers covering the name switch. We’re willing to bet that such a change led to a few extra app downloads at the very least!
We understand that informing the public that a change of name defeats the point, however, even though the Trainline name change did not affect their service there was the natural outcry from some members of the public. The change was unexpected and quick, however to many it did not make sense with many believing that such a name change is pointless and not worth reporting on. One way that such a rebranding may cost Trainline is in search terms.
While a search for Trainline or Thetrainline.com still shows up with the site ranked at number one, searching for Trainline automatically brings a “did you mean train line” suggestions. Also, when adding words on to Trainline such as “Trainline brand change” the home page of the website is not in sight on Google. This will need to be enhanced with high-quality content and other SEO tools to improve search rankings as having such a common word as your name can lead to issues, if you don’t believe us just try and search for the band Train and see how hard it is to find them.
Having a large customer base and a unique or required product makes rebranding a little easier. However, it is vital that when you do you so quickly with minimum fuss, utilising written content, social media and any other type of advertisement and content marketing to inform your customers of the change and ensure that your sales and visibility are not affected by such a change.
Next week we focus on when rebranding goes wrong for firms.
If you would like some help to nurture your own content, Curated Media can help. We work with lawyers and law firms to help fulfill their online content needs. Our team of experienced writers, lawyers, online marketers and web developers have the practical knowledge to curate, as well as create.