What’s in a name? Plenty, especially if it’s a product or brand name.
But just because a brand name exists doesn’t mean that it can’t or shouldn’t be changed. While ubiquitous brands like, say, Cheetos or Wonder Bread are part and parcel of the name, other manufacturers have determined that a change is in order because of evolving marketplace trends and consumer demands.
One recent case in point: the dropping of the word “Donuts” from Dunkin’ Donuts. That brand and name change, based largely on the popularity of the chain’s drink menu, was announced with mixed consumer reactions in September.
Other companies have re-thought their brands based on shifting tastes and expectations, not to mention a drive to differentiate their brand at a time of tight competition. The blurred lines between produce and snacking, for example, led Naturipe Farms, a partnership of four berry growers, to rebrand its grab-and-go snack packs to include a greater range of multi-compartment package sizes and the addition of proteins like nuts and cheeses.
Smaller or niche brands like Naturipe are nimble and young enough to make changes without much of a consumer backlash. Five Friends Foods swapped its Fresh Bar brand name for a new product name of nomi and also added single-serve and four-bar packs to its lineup.
“Families are turning away from center-of-store snack options,” said William Handke, chief executive officer of Five Friend Foods. “We want our product to be fresh and accessible.”
That’s not to say major brands haven’t taken a new look at their brand portfolio and adjusted. In Canada, McCain Foods updated its venerable Pizza Pocket product line, which is now called Marché Pizza Pockets. As part of the rebrand that included a new name and logo, the package format changed from boxes to bags.
While there has been activity in the snack market among niche companies and those that fall in the burgeoning health and wellness area, rebrands are happening in the bakery industry, too. Last year, the U.K.-based Roberts Bakery changed its name to Roberts after a brand strategy review and added new products and packaging that resonate with today’s consumer, like attention-grabbing “Gin and Tonic Fun Buns” and “Seriously Seed Bloomer,” a paper-wrapped multi-grain bread.