It was announced a few days ago that bSkyB is renaming to Sky, after completing the acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority interest in Sky Deutschland. A masterstroke in simplicity, the company has redefined their brand on its’ sharp point of equity.
This is a good lesson for any established business with serious ambition. Mergers and acquisitions create an array of different names and functions, leaving one wondering about the real nexus of power and differentiation.
Simplifying brand architecture abandons the arbitrary in order foster directional advantage. Your employees better understand their purpose. Consumers trust you more as you’re no longer ambiguous. And good talent is impressed by your ambitious focus. After all, getting rid of the superfluous takes determination.
This is the lesson of powerfully simple brand architecture in an M&A scenario or even for consumer brands. It refocuses and retains the necessary to build solid foundations for future growth. If done really well it can even account for redefinition — consider Apple the master at this.
The TV business is a live case study in reinvention. Only last month, CBS and HBO shocked Comcast by streaming their content online. You can now forego a subscription to the master service and pay to watch online instead. While HBO is known as the pinnacle of premium cable and more of an upstart than CBS, the latter has a storied past that reaches back to the beginning of the 20thcentury and broadcast media. CBS’ decision, despite being a stalwart of basic network cable, is very much in line with it’s own history of reinvention throughout the years to meet the demands and needs of an ever-evolving media landscape. Especially with the advent of mavericks like Netflix — who are now planningto simultaneously release movies online and in theaters. Crazy.
In the UK Sky are famous for their pay TV model, much like HBO. So perhaps this current move hints at more streaming, more freemium and specialized content for different viewer segments. Now that we live in an era when mobile is the first screen, this move is not an unnatural one.
So where is the limit for Sky? Living within the Murdoch clan of companies, such moves are hardly unfamiliar — notoriously expected, if anything. Let’s see how Europe’s leading entertainment group fares shall we? Lest we forget that TV and the Internet are the two most potent mediums at play, content is still king. It looks like it could be an open game yet.