Friday, December 18, 2009

You've Got Fail?

AOL Tries Rebranding

With hopes to revive the faltering brand that was once an Internet and technology pioneer, AOL has adopted a new brand identity as the company parts ways with Time Warner.

AOL now aims to be seen as a world-class content provider akin to the New York Times or, BBC, according to Maureen Sullivan, Chief of Staff to the CEO, Tim Armstrong for AOL in a recent interview with BrandWeek.

Will it work?

On the surface, the move seems an obvious choice. AOL has been about a lot more than their Internet access business for many years; the old name and Running Man icon was pigeonholing the companies’ appeal and purpose in a way that no longer applied. AOL had out grown its ISP product line and was looking to offer loyal consumers more. Meanwhile, its website content,, already reflected the wider offer that the company was casting. So bringing it all in line under the revitalized logo AOL provided consistency across the mission, actions and communications of the company. It made perfect sense.But that’s not to say the overhaul was an easy thing to do. Brand and name changes take a lot of time, money and guts. The move also puts AOL into more obvious, direct competition with counterparts like, MSN and Yahoo!.
As times change, technology companies know they must continue to evolve, as must their marketing communications efforts. The AOL team had the vision and will to undergo this transition and celebrate it as a positive step forward for the future.

And for those disappointed to see the Running Man go, Sullivan hints that he will play a part in future corporate branding initiatives. Until then, the Running Man must take a seat in the back.

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