Why Aol Should Kill The Huffington Post
March 16, 2011 ‐ 13 comments

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Tell your friends:
13 Comments >>
Butch Gordon
13
September 24, 2012 3:32 pm
I hate the Huffington Post. ALL OBAMA and his stupid lies about anything he can get away with. Get this darn Post off my computer or I'm getting off AOL after years. OFF OFF DAMN SPOT.
Maria Hughes
12
September 19, 2012 6:59 pm
Get rid of Huffingpost, its terrible and slow and slows my computer down. Its awful.
Don Gene
11
June 8, 2012 9:38 am
I'm with Joan Reed and Ed Brown, and the thousands who feel as we do: How do I get the Huffington Post and HuffPost removed from my computer? I can';t think of a weaker, more ill-suited so-called news link for AOL to align with. Please give us some options that will spare us the awful Huffington tripe, and eliminate the the bogging down of our computers till the Huffington junk and its enablers' ads and promos are loaded. AOL needs to consider if it wants to be a full service ISP, or a narrow conduit for the leftist loonies that think the Huffington is a source of real news. Don Gene
bob
10
May 9, 2012 1:39 pm
huffington is leftist waste
Ed Brown
9
March 28, 2012 9:31 am
How do I get the Huffington Post removed from my computer? It is designed for the FAR LEFT and most of it offends me to read it or even look at it. They only give the Liberal point of view and never tell the whole story about anything. Or do I need to change from AOL to another website?????
Joan Reed
8
March 18, 2012 2:53 pm
How do I get Huffington Post off of my computer.
ruth
7
February 19, 2012 5:47 pm
I feel like I'm watching a scandal sheet==its degrading==please remove it from my computer
forga42
6
December 19, 2011 12:14 pm
Your Huffington Post slows my computer right down, many others have complained about this AOL, news was brilliant but no one wil act or take any notice, the idiot who planned and bought this "Dung"wants" sacking, $315 million dollars for that crap, you gotta be joking, your losing customers through this, throw this in the bin like all the other comments.
Audrey Maloney
5
October 18, 2011 4:11 pm
I do not like being force-fed any particular politcal view and most especially not any held by Ms. Huffington. Good-bye AoL!!!
Audrey Maloney
4
October 18, 2011 4:08 pm
Adriana Huffington is well known for her politcal views which do not agree with mine (ever) and I do not want her in my living room. So good-by AoL. How did I get this imposition anyway?
fatso
3
March 22, 2011 1:58 pm
I would imagine that rechristening themselves as THE POST would likely result in an immediate lawsuit from The New York Post.
BrandCultureTalk
2
March 22, 2011 12:27 pm
Thanks for the input Michael. 2 quick thoughts:
  1. Aol is no longer "America Online". It's officially named Aol. Yes, it would be difficult to get away from that legacy, but we're just sayin'...
  2. Even that legacy may not be a deal breaker. If New York can serve for a global news brand (NYTimes) then surely America can as well?
But that's just nit-picking. We're with you in suspecting that both "Aol" and "The Huffington Post" have limitations when it comes to creating a global mass-market news brand.
Michael G
1
March 22, 2011 10:39 am
IMHO, neither "work" on the global scene. The "America" in AOL limits the service to being perceived as only speaking about, of, and for the United States. If the "New Huffington Post" format is supposed to appeal to a worldwide audience (which I think it has the opportunity to), it should NOT use AOL as their name. Arianna is a known entity in the United States, but trust me, only US-aficionados and people who follow what's happening online more closely know of Arianna. Unless she's willing to go through a tremendous branding effort in multiple languages, I say DROP the name Huffington - and just call this product THE POST. It translates to many meanings, works in most all languages, and can be easily adapted to a foreign language, if need be. The Post can mean a newspaper, but it also represents a "post" made online. The perfect new name for The Huffington Post/AOL: THE POST - and you read it here first :)
 
 

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