Marketers have long been renaming and reclassifying products that are underperforming. Instead of phasing out unwanted products or overhauling factories, smart branding can help convince consumers that products are new and beneficial. Not that long ago, nonfat milk was called “skim milk” and low fat cookies, “diet cookies.” Ugh, who wants a diet cookie? Here are my top 5 favorite recent product reclassifications of once-unloved products:
Actual Description: Station Wagons
Reclassified Name: Crossovers
Crossover to what? Middle age? Soccer practice? They’re not as boxy as they used to be, but they are what they are. Station wagons. Available from Porsche and BMW all the way down to Honda, these cars are all over the road.
Actual Description: Laptops with minimal features
Reclassified Name: Netbooks
Is this really a whole new category or just a watered down laptop? We’ll have to wait and see as the shelf life of netbooks may be short, depending on how popular the iPad and other tablets become.
Actual Description: Milkshakes
Reclassified Name: Smoothies
Smoothie sounds healthy right? Ok, there are some smoothies out there made exclusively from fruit, but more and more these things are filled with fat and calories. Jamba Juice’s Chocolate Moo’d Smoothie, for example, has been ranked the Worst Drink in America with 166 grams of sugar. That’s as much sugar as 4 cans of coke!
Actual Description: Watered Down Juice
Reclassified Name: Juice and Water Blend
Juice and water brands like Apple & Eve built themselves on being 100% juice. Recently however, juice has been getting a bad rap for its sugar contents. So, several juice makers are touting Juice and Water blends. Even the word “blend” make these drinks sound special.
Actual Description: Cookies
Reclassified Name: Breakfast Cookies - Are you kidding me?
As a parent, these things infuriate me. Should anyone really be eating a “Double Chocolate Chunk” cookie for breakfast? How about breakfast cake or breakfast ice cream? Do we really need to fabricate a new usage occasion for desserts?