Some companies just don’t know when it’s time to rebrand – Like Netscape. They recently relaunched themselves as a Digg clone and the response has been rather bleak. Now I know the AOL suits think that Netscape is a household word and think they can leverage that – but not when it’s a household word for “lost to Microsoft and vanished into the ether”. And especially not when you’re trying to target the Digg demographic, which can smell lame from a mile away and is merciless to anyone who tries to be “cool and with it” on behalf of a major company like AOL.
It’s a little like Wal-mart trying to go up against MySpace. If your brand is the epitome of uncool, there’s no way to pull it out of its misery.
Take a look at Song – Delta’s little stepchild. It did so well that is started to cannibalize its own family (Delta) – but for the average consumer Song was a fresh new service with a fresh new face – that’s why it did so well.