5 weeks ago Aol paid $315million to acquire The Huffington Post losartan hctz. Now it’s time for Aol to kill one of the hottest brands online.
Why would we recommend that Aol do away with a brand that, according to the NYTimes, receives 15.6 million page views per weekday and has been doubling traffic every year? First let us clarify that we only recommend they get rid of The Huffington Post as a brand name, not as a news operation. Now, let us give you three reasons they should do so:
- Aol acquired The Huffington Post not just to acquire its visitors and ad revenue, but to build a new entity that is bigger than its combined parts – at least according to this press release, which sports a sub-head to break all records for length. The Huffington Post has become a strong enough brand that it will be extremely difficult for Aol to subsume it and benefit from its brand equity. Furthermore, these brands stand for very different things right now. Love it or hate it, The Huffington Post brand resonates with people who believe they are technologically adept and politically progressive. The Aol brand? Well, to selectively quote a quote from a Huffington Post article, people with Aol email addresses tend to be overweight, politically middle of the road, have never left their own country and enjoy lounging around in sweats.
- It will never be easier to change the name than it is now. The Huffington Post exists exclusively online. How hard is it to permanently redirect a url and create a splash page announcing a new name? Not very. How easy is it to get people who spend lots of news on the web to learn a new url or create a new bookmark? It’s not effortless, but it’s doable.
- We’re not sure The Huffington Post as a name has the gravitas to become a truly global brand without overcoming some significant hurdles along the way. This is where we’re getting into the art part of the art and science of brand building. The name aligns very closely with a specific individual, which always carries risk. And we’re not sure it sounds serious and news-y enough to attract people other than those who agree with the site’s politics or enjoy being riled by them.
Are we saying that Aol should have named its new news group Aol news? No – that would likely have turned off The Huffington Post’s current visitors. Rather, we believe they should come up with a new name that Aol can more easily associate with itself and, over time, derive brand equity from. And we’re not just saying that because we’d like the naming assignment.
But it’s likely a moot point. In a recent article, Ms. Huffington, the new group’s President and editor-in-chief, referred to the transaction as a ‘merger’ rather than an acquisition. When you think that a $2.05B company’s acquisition of your website for $315m is a merger, then it’s unlikely your ego will allow you to remove your name from the masthead or the letterhead anytime soon.