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Brand Suicide

Will someone please go to FedEx headquarters and give them a wedgie?  They need something to wake them up.

They are killing the Kinko’s brand and replacing it with FedEx Office.

1. Great brands are priceless and irreplaceable. 

You can’t create a great brand. You earn it with decades of marketing, customer service, and great products. The 38-year old Kinko’s brand is more important than the stores. It means copies. It means save your butt in an emergency. It means countless personal memories of late nights in college collating party flyers, finishing term papers, and party invitations.

By eliminating the brand, you’re not just killing a brand, you’re disposing of one of the most sacred assets in the world of business.  Maybe 38 years from now "FedEx Office" will be as respected, but I doubt it.

2. There is no "and" in "brand"

A brand can’t be two things. FedEx is amazing shipping. Kinko’s is convenient printing.  You can’t be the "we ship stuff really well and also copy your stuff and whatever else you want to do with paper" company.

FedEx is going to weaken and dilute the FedEx brand by trying to add a second meaning. 

This is marketing 101. Read every book by Al Ries or any marketing textbook. Read this post. This is so obvious that I get the feeling that FedEx got suckered by an agency that will make a lot of money executing the Kinko’s removal and subsequent FedEx Office launch campaign.

Hey FedEx: Your CMO will be gone in 3 years (they all are). Are you going to let him kill a billion dollar asset because it sounds good this week?

3. Lesson: Protect your brands and keep them singular. 

The rest of what you do is optional – the brand brings in the customers.

Guys, if Kinko’s isn’t doing well … did you consider that it’s because a) you screwed up the brand by adding FedEx to it, or b) your employees are almost entirely incompetent.

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