There will always be events that get people talking around the water cooler (the ‘Breaking Bad’ finale, Miley Cyrus, and royal babies, to name a few). Here’s a recent example from the world of consumer brands, specifically fast foods.
To tie in with the launch of its new Satisfries (fewer calories, less fat), Burger King announced on Facebook and Twitter last week that it was changing its name to Fries King. Here’s the Twitter announcement:
Pictures of the new branding, displayed on signage, t-shirts, and cups, lined the company’s Facebook page:
Social media is abuzz and slightly confused about the situation, asking, “Is this for real?” You may have noticed that Burger King has put a lot of focus on fries lately, so the new name complements that strategy. First, they introduced the French fry burger in early September, which consisted of a burger with four fries laid across it. That was followed by the debut of Satisfries, along with the hashtag #WTFF2013! (“What the French fry”).
Whether it’s true or simply a short-term marketing campaign, at the very least, Fries King has people talking. Topsy stats showed that Twitter mentions of Burger King more than doubled last week when the Fries King name change was announced. According to USA Today, a Burger King press release said that some restaurants — in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami — would operate under the Fries King name for a limited period of time.
It’s important to note that the company hasn’t totally forsaken the Burger King name. The @BurgerKing Twitter handle is still in use and the company’s Facebook page name retains the Burger King name. The website (bk.com), however, features the Fries King logo followed by the words: “formerly Burger King.” If you type the URL “friesking.com”, you’ll be redirected to bk.com.
Only time will tell if the new name sticks or is a short-lived campaign. No doubt marketing pundits will have a lot to say about it. Remember Pizza Hut’s name change to Pasta Hut back in 2008 that turned out to be an April Fool’s Day promotion?
What’s been your favorite brand name change?