Two years in the making, Black & Decker has recently revealed their controversial new look.
What was wrong with the old Black & Decker?
For a while, Black & Decker has been a struggling brand. In the minds of power tool consumers, Stanley is the beloved consumer brand and DeWalt is the higher end prosumer brand. Although all three brands are owned by the same company (Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.), Black & Decker has suffered due to the strong market position of the other two brands. While Stanley and DeWalt both have set market positions, Black & Decker has been shuffled around like an awkward middle child; for a while it seemed to be aiming to be the discount brand, but its prices were never much lower than Stanley’s and its products weren’t always up to snuff. Lately, Black & Decker’s strategy seems to have been to flood the market with product variations, which began to harm brand consistency, especially across different product lines such as kitchen appliances, which DeWalt and Stanley don’t even compete in.
Does the new Black & Decker fix the problem?
While Black & Decker’s problems are three-fold (Lack of brand consistency, lack of strong brand position, and too many product variations), this rebrand aims to fix two of these. First, by creating a simpler and friendlier new logo, Black & Decker hopes to latch onto consumers who are looking for friendly, easy-to-use products. This should separate them from the more “Tough Guy” approaches of Stanley and DeWalt. Secondly, the simpler look should allow Black & Decker to streamline and simplify its actual product design, so that products are more consistent and iconic across different product lines, thus eliminating the need for endless product variations. Whether the product designs will ultimately stick to this strategy remains to be seen.
What new problems are introduced?
By abandoning that “Tough Guy” look, Black & Decker are throwing out a tried-and-true recipe for success in the power tool marketplace. Assuming they are aiming for the consumer level with their tools, it could very well pay off, but it’s a risky move that could alienate long time members of their brand community.
Is it an overall improvement?
It’s a risky move, but a definite improvement. Black & Decker now has a solid blueprint to rebuild their brand community upon: a friendly, simple line of consumer power tools and appliances.