Saturday 11 October 2014

“TNT Post has changed its name to Whistl,” a leaflet tells me. 

OK. Fair enough. Good for Whistl – formerly known as TNT Post.

“We’re the bright and innovative postal people, and now we have a name to match.”

You wear orange and…you’ve lost me. You do the same as any other delivery firm. The Post Office have been using bikes for decades – did you mean the bikes?

If I may move on to the second clause in that sentence: you now have a name to match? Your name now matches your bright and innovative postal people company? Your name is the word whistle, without an e at the end. What is bright and innovative about a whistle? A big yellow whistle would be bright. I guess a big yellow whistle that worked by bluetooth or the internet would be a little bit innovative (if it was 1998).

I investigated a little bit on the company’s website. Why they had changed WAS romantically reasoned: “We are changing our name due the split of the TNT Group in 2011 and TNT Express kept the right to use the TNT brand.” Awww.

They also explained the reasons why they were changing to whistl:

“We took a fresh look at the business, where we are today and where we may be in the future.  We did not want to restrict ourselves to post and needed a broader brand to reflect everything we already do – mail, logistics, packets and parcels and doordrop.  We undertook a lot of research and everyone said they think the company is a real people business, so we used this theme in developing names and also looked at both descriptive and abstract names.  After research with customers, consumers and prospects, Whistl was chosen as it is memorable, allows brand stretch into new areas making it future-proof. It’s also very human and happy people whistle!”

What a bunch of bollocks. You realise the above paragraph was probably a couple of hundred thousand pounds in the making. And it can be summarised as: Blah blah blah, happy people whistle.

This paragraph is not everything that is wrong with the world. Saying it is everything that is wrong with the world is the kind of thing I would say. But it’s not. The paragraph isn’t someone getting shot in the street or a fundamental terrorist faction, for example. It’s just an example of marketing bollocks. Which is annoying to me because most of it doesn’t mean anything.

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 17.46.19

‘Where we are today and where we may be in the future’ – meaningless. Apparently they didn’t want to restrict themselves to post and reflect the wide variety of things they already do – before then listing examples of post.

Then they undertook ‘a lot’ of research. This generally means a very small amount of research. I’ve seen people present research pieces, that were definitely well funded, based on talking to six people. And no-one blinked. We knew what six people thought not the hundreds and hundreds of people we were catering to. If you read the small print on adverts when they have some large text claiming that ‘891% of people want a fox to wash their hair’ you will often find its based on asking eight people a question.

[Of course Whistl might have asked 5000 people.]

Who the fuck would say “it’s a real people business”? They wouldn’t. People asked about TNT Post would have said, “it’s like a shit Royal Mail, isn’t it?” What would have happened is they would have asked the eight/5000 people what TNT Post was most likely to be described as: a real people business or a robotic killing treehouse. And they had to answer one or the other – choosing which was closest to the truth. And it would conveniently provide a completely generic base for a PR-marketing sweatbox to come up with whatever twaddle they wanted to push out on TNT Post/Whistl.

“Whistl was chosen as it was memorable…'” people will remember the word whistle, if they mean that “..allows brand stretch into new areas making it future-proof” more complete gobblehashgook: it means nothing. How is it future-proof? What if whistles become associated with a horrible child-killing movement?

To be fair I do like this fucking big whistle

To be fair I do like this fucking big whistle

“It’s also very human” well it’s more whistley isn’t it? I would say a whistle is not very human and the concept of whistling is a little bit human. True, humans do it but that doesn’t make it innately human. “…and happy people whistle!” and so do paedophiles and bankrobbers.

So, they LEGALLY had to stop using the TNT brand name. And the best they could come up with was the word whistle but without the letter e at the end.

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