The weekly communications #fail: rebranding gone wrong
Yesterday, as I was reading The Washington Post, I came across this item, regarding a makeover for a Silver Spring, MD bar.
The bar, formerly known as Piratz Tavern, was targeted by Spike TV to be redone. Apparently, the bar’s sales had been slumping and the owners appealed to the “Bar Rescue” show. Piratz had a pirate theme–the waitstaff dressed up as pirates, there was rum, and “pirate-themed” food. The decor was pirate-casual (you know, skulls on the wall-like).
In comes the Bar Rescue staff and Piratz Tavern becomes, are you ready for this? Corporate Bar and Grill, serving gourmet burgers to executives not interested in being pretend pirates.
Corporate Bar and Grill? Seriously? Could they have chosen a more generic name? A more generic menu? I am not a betting person, but I would bet that this won’t result in higher earnings, except if they are charging much more for these executive burgers.
Perhaps what Piratz needed was not a complete rebranding to become a generic grill, but instead, an effective way to market a quirky spot that is a bit out of the way for foot traffic. If foot traffic was the issue before, it will still be an issue now, regardless of whether the food is better.
If you have something different, I think you should exploit it. Becoming just like everyone else is rarely a way to get ahead of the crowd. Becoming more generic is this week’s communications #fail.