The parent company of fashion giant Coach found out that there is a lot to a brand name.
Coach’s strategic plan was to expand into a specialty retailer that would branch out beyond the COACH® brand. To accomplish this strategy, Coach acquired both snazzy shoe company Stuart Weitzman and trendy Kate Spade & Co.
In doing so, Coach wanted to rebrand its parent company to reflect the three distinct brands under the corporate umbrella. Coach chose the name Tapestry for its parent company.
The public backlash and slight drop in Coach (now Tapestry) stock price was unexpected. Consumer’s felt that Tapestry sounded “musty” or “old.” Others were reminded of the Carole King song and were not happy.
Consumers felt better when they were told they would still be able to buy their beloved COACH® bags.
The parent company Tapestry has more impact on the Wall Street shareholders than the individual consumers. The company explained the origin of the name. The Tapestry name reflects the long history back to its start in Manhattan in 1941 following the Great Depression and the creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity that the company was founded on.
Coach is not alone in branding a parent company. Mondelez (formerly known as KRAFT) that owns the Oreos® and Nabisco® brands also received backlash when it unveiled its new name. Consumers complained that the name Mondelez sounded like a dreadful disease.
With all the acquisitions occurring in the business world, the renaming of parent companies will be a fertile ground for creative agencies to obtain business.
What names do you think would have been less controversial for Coach to have adopted?