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Changing a Name Doesn't Change Perception

Wheat Thins is Slicing Linguistics Too Thin

It’s the time of resolutions and change and what better way to kick off the New Year than the declaration from Nabisco that Wheat Thins are no longer a cracker, but a snack. That’s right, the word “cracker” is now verboten and the word will forever disappear from packages, marketing, and advertising.

Jim Low, marketing director for the wheat cracker division at Kraft rationalizes the change this way, “Wheat Thins is one of the least topped crackers in the cracker category – so we realized we needed to act more like a snack.”  But, when it comes to talking about Wheat Thin Stix which are pretty fat, he dismisses the name and states, “I don’t think people are doctrinaire about the literalness of what the name means.” So, which is it? Either the name matters or it doesn’t?

What’s the Lesson Here? It doesn’t matter what you call it; it matters what others call it. Branding is all about perception.

Starbucks just revised its logo deleting the word “coffee” from its iconic mermaid. Why? Because the word has become superfluous while at the same time, the brand has expanded from simply coffee to ice cream to even music! We all know what the brand is and embrace its image. This is a mild change to a very robust brand.

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