What would you do if you were the CEO of a business named Corona?
This article is only imaginary and has no relation to any business or opinions. Also, it is not intended to hurt any sentiments or reflect other works/actions.
Special thanks to Venkatesh who carefully edited and corrected the content as required.
Due to the recent outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, many governments have imposed lockdowns and movement control orders on their citizens to bring the situation to normal, thereby causing distresses to the businesses. With all kinds of businesses including big, medium, small and micro-level players worrying about the comeback/re-establishment of their products/services, I came across a unique problem, which is very specific only to a minuscule number of companies/organization(s) in the world, but worth considering due to the impact of COVID-19 on a global society at large.
Recently, I read an advertisement which said “Corona is conducting a corporate training session on data center virtualization.” I got confused; upon further research, I found out that the name of the company is “Corona Institute of Technology” and they are there in the market for 14 years! There is also a consumer goods company in Southern California founded in 1928, which has about 50 employees, and the company is named “Corona”. Of course, we are reading more news about the decline of business for the Mexican beer behemoth “Corona” soon after the spread of the pandemic. Ultimately, though all businesses are facing declining sales, these companies are facing further headache because their name matches with the name of the virus. This is adding fuel to the burning fire and, definitely, the common fire extinguishers will not be extinguishing the fire.
We have seen such cases before. For example, when TATA Motors was about to introduce a brand new vehicle called “Zica”, there was an epidemic outbreak of “Zika” virus spreading across the Americas. Even though the spellings were different, they led to the same pronunciation. Despite the company having invested a lot of money in advertisements and branding, including the signing of Argentine footballer Lionel Messi as their brand ambassador, they decided to let it go. And changed the name to “Tiago”. In my opinion, it is still okay to change the name of the product, even after its introduction to the market, if it has not yet penetrated the minds of the people. However, in the case of the beer brand, the trademark for “Coronas” has been owned by renowned winemaker Bodegas Torres since 1907, and the name of the brand is already deep-rooted in the nook and corner of the global markets. In such a scenario, re-branding is not easy.
According to a survey, 38% of Americans would not buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the outbreak, and another 14% said they would not order a Corona in public. In my opinion, the great world wars killed only egos and soldiers, but this pandemic disease is killing everyone from infants to old-aged people across the globe without mercy.
In such scenarios, if I were the CEO of any of those companies, I would take efforts to re-brand the company. Although re-branding may have unintended consequences in the short-term, it may be the best possible solution in the long-term. This would be my tribute to the emergence of mankind from the deadly war. Okay, what if a city itself is called “Corona” (for example, the village in Uttar Pradesh that come under the spotlight for its name)? I would still attempt to change the name after conducting polls and surveys. Haven’t we seen this in the past?
So let me know your thoughts in the comments section what would you do in such situations?