Can BP Rebrand?
Since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexcio, BP has become synonymous with a few choice words, including “disaster.” Some associations can help build or hurt a brand, but in BP’s case it’s the latter.
With the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico still on everyone’s minds and people still blogging, twittering and talking about BP, it’ll be difficult for them to leave the stigma associated with their handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico behind. With all of this negative publicity, there aren’t many avenues for BP to create positive associations to their brand. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried. BP has produced several television ads to show how much they care and how much they’re investing in helping to restore the quality of water in the Gulf of Mexico to pre-oil spill quality.
Yet, the backlash and boycott has continued. This is one of the reasons many U.S. BP gas station owners are considering whether the company should change their name to Amoco or another name as part of efforts to repair the company’s badly damaged reputation. Some owner’s say that since BP has already named an American executive to replace the last British CEO, changing the name to Amoco (which once stood for American Oil Company; it merged with BP in 1998) would be fitting.
But would changing the company name really help? Although, it certainly worked for AirTran after the ValuJet crash and Xe Services after the killing of civilians by Blackwater Worldwide guards in Iraq.
But this would not be the first time that BP has rebranded the company. Their last rebranding efforts were much more successful. In an effort to improve their environmental image in 1989, BP shortened its name from British Petroleum. They revamped their logo and appearance to improve its environmental image and refurbished its petroleum stations to promote a greener, more socially responsible image.
That was 1989, today people aren’t likely to forget anytime soon, in fact, the Greenpeace organization in the UK created a contest urging people to ‘rebrand’ the BP logo and show that they aren’t ‘Beyond Petroleum’ as their slogan suggests. Contestants designed numerous logos showcasing the BP vibrant green-white-and-yellow sunburst logo in a disastrous state.
So with the extensiveness of the media coverage, it remains to be seen if BP can actually rebrand or if they will forever be tainted. Unless they take drastic measures to positively improve their brand appeal, they might not be able to weather the storm.
—Tavia 954-523-1957 ext. 25