The Electrolux Logo showed its age
Electrolux is back in the news because Keith McLoughlin, CEO has resigned after the GE deal collapsed.
Electrolux was in the throes of purchasing the appliance division of GE when the US Justice Department blocked the deal. Do you have any idea what has been going on with Electrolux recently?
If you are like me, your memories of the Electrolux brand is limited to the old tubular canister vacuum cleaner that my grandmother favored. It was relatively small and was pulled around behind the vacummer on the floor on sled-like runners. What was once viewed as modern quickly looked dated as the old logo absolutely showed its age. If you asked me what else the company made beyond vacuum cleaners, I would be hard pressed to provide much of an answer.
However, the Swedish company has been on a rampage of new innovations in appliances— moving into the high-end markets dominated by Wolf, Viking, JENNAIR and BOSCH.
Electrolux scrapped its old logo, updated its graphics and decided to concentrate on the more lucrative kitchen appliance market. It is a crowded category to be sure but Electrolux pushed the envelope in design, features and ergonomics. However, if you asked consumers to name the top brands in kitchen appliances I fear the Electrolux would rarely been in the considered set (we always conduct research when working on brands and rebranding). They might buy the products when actively shopping for upgrades but it is a learned preference. One that comes only from hands-on comparisons. The brand itself is easily overlooked.
The reason for this consumer omission is in the name itself. While the logo and graphics have been updated the name is eponymous. As a result, it has a meaning that sounds like the 1940s. Electric Luxury. It piques the idea that electric is modern. The whole idea seems OLD. Only a few of us can remember mechanized carpet sweepers or hand powered hand mixers. Electricity is just a given and provides no space between Electrolux and the competitive set.
The ultimate success of this otherwise innovative company will be in trying to get us to forget the name’s meaning and accepting it as a whole. Electrolux needs us to leave emotional attachments behind and to forget what we already think we know.
The Electrolux brand took such major leaps in the stable of products and offerings that it carried forward very little in established brand equity. Had we been asked to rebrand the company during this monumental transition, I think we would have suggested a name change. Brand repair is a more difficult task then developing brand meaning.
Opportunity for Electrolux beyond acquisition
Its not too late. Rebranding the products would make the purchase of the GEs of the world a mute point. This forward-thinking brand could take that market share in its own right. No need to purchase the market. The brand itself could generate powerful preference on its own.
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