What started as an idea to brand a new division of Verizon ended up as it usually does for these companies, a mediocre launch of a brand that a year later is reversed. Surprised?

We aren’t. Merging two old-school brands like Yahoo! and AOL under a company called OATH doesn’t make sense, no matter how you spin it or what else you stick under it. Poor TechCrunch and HuffPo didn’t have a chance. Putting OATH to rest is the least of their problems, really their focus should be how these brands work together to build on experience around each of their strengths.

Oath, HuffPost’s oddly-named corporate parent company that came of merging AOL and Yahoo, is phasing out the name and rebranding as Verizon Media Group, according to a company-wide email from CEO Guru Gowrappan.

Alexander Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) November 5, 2018

To put it nicely, for us at least, this was a significant f*%$ up across the board. It shows zero depth in brand relevancy and no idea for customer experience and delivery of real media/news/entertainment.

Take the original Uber brand update, Sprite, OATH, and on and on as an example of what NOT to do if you are a brand thinking about rebranding or updating your presence. We all know these to be bad ideas with no real substance, which is a big OOF for OATH and why it is being put to rest. Funeral announcement to come.

Hopefully, lesson learned, but probably not, until the next beast rises and thinks a quick rebrand and shuffle will solve all their problems and deliver a customers experience with no substance. Hmm…

Final thought. When thinking of a rebrand or organizational shift of divisions, think through the ethos of what experience you are trying to deliver to your end user and how that experience builds on the growth of the brands. Or, for f* sake, wrap it under Verizon Media Group…wait, they just did.

Image by techcrunch and Jonathan Shieber
social.techcrunch.com · by Jonathan Shieber@jshieber

Rob is the better looking Marketing brother and CMO of Rareview. When he’s not marketing or changing diapers, he loves running, buying overpriced Jordan’s, and reliving stories about his glory days that are long passed.

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