FedEx just announced it’s dropping the Kinko’s from its name and becoming FedEx Office to "describe the wide range of services available at its retail centers."
FedEx purchased Kinko’s in 2004. Waiting four years to drop the name might seem odd for a company specializing in overnight delivery, but it’s not.
FedEx was also adding a service by extending their brand to the uber-copy shop. This takes time to get organized internally and externally. Regardless of customer loyalty when the acquisition was announced, FedEx Kinko’s has now established itself as a successfully merged brand.
FedEx gets the Gallant on how to merge brand names -- by taking baby steps. Macy’s took a similar approach locally when
they purchased they were still known as Federated Deparrment Stores and switched Lazarus Department Stores over to the Macy's nameplate.
Who gets the Goofus for showing us how NOT to merge brands? AT&T.
After several convoluted business deals, AT&T owned Cingular Wireless. It took about $4 billion and six years, but Cingular was a hot brand with its orange jumping jack logo. Cool enough to land exclusivity around the iPhone introduction.
AT&T flipped a switch in May of last year and what was once orange became blue.
Tossing some hard-earned gravitas out the window is bad enough, but it sends an even worse message to customers. It implies that the new brand is trying to gloss over the change. The subtext reads that AT&T is an arrogant alpha brand.
The instant enterprise-wide consistency might make integrated marketers squeal with glee, but this is messy stuff. The more AT&T tried to establish the new brand, the tougher it made the transition.