Don’t Axa me

ax_meSome re-branding makes sense, and others don’t.

Federal Express did the right thing when it shortened its name to FedEx (since that’s what everyone called them anyway). But, J.C. Penney has lost millions of dollars in misguided re-branding mistakes.

Sometimes companies make branding changes just for the sake of change. At least, that’s how I reacted to the dramatic news that Axa Financial had changed its name and was now, drum roll please, just, plain old Axa.

The change was needed so that Axa U.S. “…will conform with the French-based company’s brand elsewhere.” Oh.

The re-brand is being funded by an $85 million marketing campaign (Note: that’s $77 million more than Axa nee Axa Financial ever spent before).

Part of the buy includes staircase ads in airports as well as in major rail stations and bus terminals. I must say staircase ads don’t do it for me. In fact, I think they’re a colossal waste of time that could be better spent in, say, public relations or social media.

Take the new Axa staircase ad. Please!

It reads: “Reach your financial destination one small step at a time.” Clever, no? I don’t think so. What stressed-out commuter is thinking about her financial future as she elbows her way up a crammed stairway trying to get to work by 9am?

If anything, staircase ads make me shake my head. I see them as yet another advertising intrusion in my already information overloaded life.

In fact, the only one I’ve encountered that made any iota of sense was a Macy’s staircase ad in Penn Station that read: “You’re getting closer and closer to Black Friday savings.” Macy’s Herald Square is only a block from Penn Station.

I wish I could provide a sensible explanation for the reasons why Axa dropped the word Financial, is spending $85 million in marketing to support the name change and running pointless staircase ads aimed at harried commuters. But I can’t, so don’t Axa me.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Axa me

  1. The real crime is the branding firm that charged millions of dollars to recommend going from “Axa Financial” to “Axa.”

  2. The management co. of my co-op building rebranded itself from Cooper Square to FirstService Residential. What does that mean, exactly? At least Cooper Square suggested a place and what the company actually does. While it’s no big deal, I’m a bit offended wondering what they spent to proudly show off the nondescript logo — especially as they did it simultaneously with tacking on a maintenance price increase.

  3. Agree with both of you. If I’m an Axa customer, I’m wondering why they didn’t reinvest the $85 million into creating better ways to save me money.