AOL Brand Overhaul: DOA, SOL, WTF?

What to do when you've got a stinker of a brand that hasn't kept up with the times? Revamp. Rebrand. Reposition. Just Reanything, if we can get a pulse out of the damn thing!

Actually, I agree with the reasoning behind AOL getting a brand revamp, as we often find that works well for our clients whose brands have fallen behind the times. But they usually have a product or service that still has relevance.

Does AOL have relevance, or is it too little, too late? Also, how did they know all us Ad Men would immediately don our "Snark Hats?"

From the NY Times:

Whatever AOL does or does not do, Ms. Marquess said, there will be gibes from critics, whom she called “the snarkies” after the snarky comments they invariably make.
“We need to give people a reason to care again” about AOL, she added, which is worth drawing swipes from the sidelines.
Gabe Fried, chief executive at Streambank in Needham, Mass., a financial advisory firm focused on intellectual property assets, said the new identity must start changing perceptions of AOL as “a brand for the technological laggard.”
Although the AOL name “needs to be reinvigorated,” Mr. Fried said, “to abandon it would be an incredibly costly mistake.”
Jonah Disend, chief executive at Redscout, a brand strategy agency in New York owned by MDC Partners, disagreed.
“I would get rid of the parent brand and dissolve AOL,” Mr. Disend said. “The assets are stronger on their own.”
The problem is that AOL is “the My Little Pony of Internet brands, for when you’re starting out online,” he added. “The last thing you want to be is a nostalgic brand in a category that’s all about the future.”

I think Mr. Disend nailed it on the head. But that may just be the snarky me coming through...


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