How do you update a brand without making it look like what you had before wasn’t perhaps as good as you were making it out to be?
For years people mocked the iconic Persil for claiming it washes whiter. What, like it didn’t wash white before? And what is ‘whiter’ anyway? The Unilever/Henkel people are familiar with the headache of making an update look believable.
But it gets worse if someone then turns round and says that your ‘new, improved’ isn’t even better in the first place. As happened to Unilever in Germany when consumer watchdog Foodwatch slated Bertoli for not improving the product (as was claimed on the packs), but actually making it worse. Apparently they added flavour enhancers and anchovy paste, a no-no for vegetarians.
It’s the same problem wherever you are in the world. And what could be more global than the internet, where Facebook has now been updating its privacy settings. Yes, we all know nobody understood the settings before, so they had to be improved. Which they’ve now done, apparently.
Enter their “vice president of product”, complete with strange grammatically-challenged job title. When asked about the rationale underlying the new, improved Facebook, he nearly, oh so nearly, came away without egg on his face.
According to the BBC, “the arrival of another privacy refresh didn’t necessarily mean the old system was confusing.” No, as Cox tells us, echoing generations of marketeers’ tears over the years: “I don’t think the old controls were bad. I just think the new ones are much better”.
Doesn’t wash with me.