wners of BP stations across the country want to drop the name, "BP," after sales reportedly collapsed by up to 40 percent in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. BP has offered to help struggling stations by handing out cash, cutting credit card fees, and boosting nationwide advertising, but it's expected that that a majority of owners will insist on a rebranding at their annual October pow-wow with the oil-giant's execs — likely pushing for a return to the "Amoco" brand that the company absorbed in 1998. Is ditching the BP name a crucial business move?
BP owes its retailers a rebranding: Let's face it, "the Gulf oil disaster has obliterated the BP brand name," says Ariel Schwartz in Fast Company. So BP needs to at least consider the Amoco name-change request. The suffering station owners have almost nothing to do with the oil giant as a company, after all, and it seems unfair to make them "suffer because of the incompetency of BP."
"BP gas station owners take our advice, consider rebranding as Amoco"
Amoco isn't the answer: What would be unfair is forcing the name change on unwilling franchisees, says Garland Pollard in Seeking Alpha. "Rebranding a station with new signage is expensive," and money's tight enough as is. Also, in Europe, because of the 1978 Amoco Cadiz spill, "Amoco stands for oil spill, too." And frankly, a name change now might come across as "a cheap gimmick."
"Should BP still bring back Amoco?"
BP should never have killed Amoco: Gimmicky or not, rebranding under the "old and well-regarded" Amoco name is "the quickest and perhaps least expensive way" to save struggling BP stations, says Douglas McIntyre in 24/7 Wall Street. In fact, BP should have kept Amoco's name after the merger: If anything, the Gulf disaster shows the folly of putting all of a multinational's eggs in one brand basket.
"Will BP gas stations In America be Amoco soon?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
Subscribe to the Week