I buy Business Week now and then. Last week when I thought of reading through the weekly business updates, thoughts and opinions, I had problems spotting it on the newsstand shelf. Only then I realized its visual identity has been changed and the new name is Bloomberg Business Week. The new idenity was launched on April 23, 2010. But is it really a re-branding or just a visual facelift?
McGraw-Hill, the owner of the magazine, sold this arm of business to Bloomberg for $5 million (reported number yet official figure has not been disclosed) in October 2009. For the record, Business Week lost $43 million in 2008 and was expected to loose around $60 million in 2009.
After the purchase Bloomberg representatives announced that their intentions are to build up the business and one of their targets are businesses and government officials who currently are not their clients. Quite a logical reasoning, particularly when a business strategy has changed during last years more towards “mainstream” audience (or let’s say: less niche specialized), which is new to Bloomberg.
Acquiring a loosing business means serious business re-engineering across brand’s all elements: organisational, product, innovation, experience and communication. In a case like this, re-branding involves a serious cultural change. In certain times, process and events might be little painful. For example, a month later after the deal, 130 people were dismissed and another 30 people were laid-off in March 2010.
Going back to the magazine’s re-brand/facelift.
Yes. There is a new name: “Bloomberg Businessweek”. Replacing capital “W” with a lower case letter diminishes Businessweek’s presence and a new name is attached in front of it. Is Bloomberg attached as an endorser or just as self-centred decision of non-discussable element as a sign of ownership? If it is an endorser, what kind of endorsement it is and does it really serve a plan to expand an audience? Or may be Bloomberg itself needs a re-brand to let know what are their new values and business mantra?
In short, now looking at the present Bloomberg Business Week (oh, no, it’s Bloomberg Businessweek) offering seems that there has been organisational change but not that much product and content change. The name has changed and inside design have kind of more colourful and dynamic tone. But is it really a re-brand?