–Dan Kelly, Attorney

Time for me to play dumb consumer and ask an honest question.  What is the conventional wisdom in relaunching or revitalizing a brand:  do you tell consumers that you’re doing it, or not?

I suspect that there is no universal answer, but Holiday Inn’srelaunch” has admittedly caught my attention.  (It caught Steve’s attention here.)  Every morning on the way to work for the past several months, I have passed a billboard for Holiday Inn stating, “We’re making big changes.”  Since my first viewing of the billboard, my brain has always followed with a thought along the lines of, “Well, you must have needed it.”  Why would a company mess with success?


More commentary after the jump . . .

I have nothing against Holiday Inn.  I don’t know how many times I’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn, or where, but I do know that none of my experiences of Holiday Inns have ever been particularly memorable — other hotels have been, but usually historical or unique ones.  Few chain hotels succeed in making an impression on me one way or another.

Holiday Inn’s relaunch is different than a simple update, modernization, or facelift, as happens periodically with the likes of Betty Crocker or Pepsi or numerous others.  Changes like these can be promoted with “look for” ads, like “Look for our new logo” or “Same great product — now in a brand new package.”  To me, Holiday Inn is admitting that its product itself needed improvement.  Products and services sometimes do need improvement, but it seems to me the better message is to start with a statement along the lines of, “our product has always been good,” then add the proverbial, “but we can do better.”

Of course, maybe I’m thinking too much inside the box.  So next week, I’ll be making big changes . . .