The recent decision by Bonnie Brooks, President and chief executive of the Hudson’s Bay Company, to rebrand The Bay has caused a great deal of controversy.
In one camp there are those that believe that the change is not cost justified because the company is unlikely to benefit in the short term and the high levels of recognition of the current logo doesn’t warrant this [mis] allocation of scarce resources—the “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” position.
In the other camp they argue that Bonnie Brooks’ decision to change the name and logo is essential to support her strategy of repositioning the company within the Canadian retail landscape and change the lingering perceptions in the minds of some consumers—The Bay is a middle-of-the-market department store chain selling middle-of-the-road family fashions—to one that reflects the new Bay experience: The “new” Bay is a department store chain which is more refined, upscale, and fashion forward.
In my opinion the decision to change the name and logo is not only a smart decision but also a crucial one.
The Bay’s new branding–Hudson’s Bay–clearly signals a brave new direction for the company and a return to its roots as A LEADER–AN ADVENTURER. This is coherent with the groundbreaking actions taken by Bonnie Brooks and her team during the past four years to reinvent this venerable department store chain as a leader once more within the Canadian retail landscape.
The decision by Ms. Brooks to rebrand The Bay in support of the company’s new and radically different business strategy provides an excellent example for business watchers and marketers of one context when a brand should change its name and logo.