I was in church last Sunday and realized I haven’t been in quite some time, at least not to my home church. I might not have realized it, were it not for the fact many of the congregation responses in the Mass have changed, ever so slightly. Whoever thought the responses needed fixing, probably weren’t trying to alienate those of us who have not attended regularly in some time. I felt I did not belong, and that probably wasn’t their intent. The changes, while likely based on sound reasoning, really do not add anything to the Mass. They are more a distraction from what was familiar and what I’m used to. It isn’t like 60 years ago, when the ecumenical council under Pope John the 23rd, changed the Mass into the local native language from Latin. That caused an uproar from many who felt the change diluted the mystery of the ritual.
The most obvious changes are the free-wheeling changes companies now make to their names, logos, and branding. I learned a long time ago this was taboo. If you don’t really have any brand awareness in the consumer’s mind, it doesn’t matter. If you do, however, it is not recommended. The millennials never learned this unbreakable law. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, changes the logo on a whim. Google, gives their logo the same treatment. Sometimes it is necessary, but often it’s spurred by boredom with the familiar.
The two examples of staying with the same brands I can think of are Wells Fargo Bank and Jolly Green Giant. Both companies have to fight to keep from changing what is widely known by their customers. They have invested in those brand identities, even if they might seem outdated. The San Francisco Forty Niners tried changing their logo not long ago and the fans revolted, even after they had purchased new helmets for the players with the new “modern” logo. So this is one of those “dead marketing ideas,” that is alive and well and you would be well advised to heed this one.
Have you ever experienced “change” for change sake and didn’t feel comfortable with it like my church experience? Have you tired of your brand identity and desperately wanted to change it?
I recall a time when computer maker Packard Bell relished in knowing that half its customers thought they had bought Hewlett-Packard equipment. Packard Bell was a Dutch company that was bought and sold by a variety of manufacturers and is now owned by Acer who also bought Gateway Computers.
So while I remember the Mass in Latin, since I had to say it as an altar boy, I can’t say I miss it all that much; although there are people who do, including Mel Gibson’s father.
Corporations should consider the ramifications on the customers when they are thinking of “improving” how they brand themselves. The Catholic church might take a long look at some of the “new” responses and ask themselves, “What did we fix?”