corporate rebranding and its effect on consumer attitudes


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Watering down Guinness? The Diageo effect
Guinness is a strong drink. It is a strong brand. It Guiness
belong to everyone, and is part of the narrative of the social
history of the twentieth century.
With Guinness the product name was interchangeable with
that of the company. Guinness sold Guinness and the world
new what they stood for. It was and is a venerable brand.
Except that Guinness no longer make and sell Guinness.
That privilege belongs to Diageo. Who? Diageo, an untried,
untested commodity. Diageo is the corporate identity for the
people who make Guinness – among other things. Diageo, a
name that would seem to have breadth, enabling the company
to move beyond its core products. But will the introduction of
the new name risk, well watering down one of the world’s
best-loved beers?

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corporate rebranding and its effect on consumer attitudes

  1. 1. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Laurent Muzellec DCUBS, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, and Mary Lambkin UCD Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, Blackrock, IrelandAbstractPurpose – The paper aims to analyse the effect of abandoning a venerable brand name (Guinness) and all of the reputation value that it embodied infavour of a new, untested name (Diageo). The paper seeks to examine the extent to which this affects consumers’ perceptions of the product and thecorporation.Design/methodology/approach – Six hypotheses were tested in the study by surveying corporate and product brand images among a group ofconsumers (n ¼ 411) using the Davies et al. Corporate Character Scale.Findings – The survey establishes that a change of corporate name does affect the perceptions of the corporation but not the products. It also confirmsthat image spillovers occur between the corporate and the product levels. Corporate image is derived from product image, and vice versa, when the twoshare the same name.Research limitations/implications – Although the case study approach allows the gaining of a deep insight into a phenomenon, it is at the expenseof generalisability.Practical implications – The study implies that consumers fail to distinguish between product and corporate brand when the two share the samename. Managers may neutralise corporate images by attributing a different brand name to the corporation.Originality/value – The paper seeks to fill the conceptual vacuum in which decisions to adopt a new corporate name and rearrange the brandarchitecture seem to be made.Keywords Case studies, Corporate branding, Brand identity, Brand imagePaper type Case studyAn executive summary for managers and executive programme and for consumers’ awareness and imagesreaders can be found at the end of this article. (Aaker, 1991). A brand name is associated with a set of attributes and psychological associations which give a brand its meaning (Keller, 1998). For a company such as DiageoIntroduction (ex- Guinness), the change of name suggests a move towardsIn recent years, change in ownership structure, change in a “house of brands” architecture where corporate associationscorporate strategy, change in competitive position, and are downplayed by maintaining individual names for eachchange in the external environment have forced companies product line distinct from the corporate name (Aaker andto change their name and rearrange their brand architecture Joachimsthaler, 2000).(Muzellec and Lambkin, 2006). This phenomenon has been The first academic issue pertaining to the corporatelabelled rebranding (Griffin, 2002; Kaikati, 2003). The term rebranding phenomenon is to assess the extent to which arebranding actually assumes that a brand existed prior to the change of name modifies consumers’ perceptions of thechange of name, as the prefix “re” signifies that the action is in corporate brand over time, that is, to assess the before andfact performed for the second time. This is frequently the after effects. The second academic issue is to understand thecase, especially when a well-known consumer brand name influence of corporate image on product image, that is, the(e.g. Guinness, Philip Morris) is being replaced by a new interplay between different levels of the brand architecture.corporate brand name (e.g. Diageo, Altria). The issue of This is based on the premise that the product and its brandbrand architecture modification and corporate redeployment are integrally related to the corporate brand just as corporatehas been recently addressed (Laforet and Saunders, 2005), associations are thought to impact the perceptions of thebut a model that articulates the effect of brand architecture product (Brown and Dacin, 1997; Fombrun and van Riel,modification is yet to be elaborated. This is a gap that this 2004; Scholder Ellen et al. 2006).paper seeks to address. This paper utilises the rebranding context to analyse the Names are the critical, core sign of the brand; they consequences of modifying the brand architecture on bothconstitute the basis for the corporate communications product brand image and corporate brand image. It sets out to measure the impact of corporate rebranding (as evidencedThe current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at by a name change) on corporate brand personality as well on product brand personality. Attitude scales are used to obtain measures of salient attributes of corporate image. Images result from weighting the scores on different attributes Journal of Product & Brand Management to obtain a composite picture. 16/5 (2007) 321– 333 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1061-0421] The literature section reviews the role of names in [DOI 10.1108/10610420710779618] connecting the corporation to its stakeholders as well as in 321
  2. 2. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333corporate brand building. The methodology section explains Evolutionary rebranding describes a fairly minor developmentthe use of the Corporate Character Scale (Davies et al. 2004, in the company’s positioning and aesthetics that is so gradualChun and Davies, 2006) to assess both product and corporate that it is hardly perceptible to outside observers. For example,image. After a brief introduction to the case, the results of a Visa International recently revamped its logo to give thesurvey comparing the images of a corporation under its company a “fresher, more contemporary feel” (Visa, n.d.). Allcurrent name (Diageo) with images under its previous names companies go through this process over time through a series(Guinness Ireland Group and GuinnessUDV) are presented. of cumulative adjustments and innovations. RevolutionaryThey indicate that consumers’ corporate images change rebranding, in contrast, describes a major, identifiable changedepending on the name of the corporation. Perceptions of the in positioning and aesthetics that fundamentally redefines theproduct brand images remain, however, unchanged. The company. This change is usually symbolised by a radicalmanagerial and academic implications are discussed in the change of name, which would signal to the external audiencelast section. that something about the company has changed dramatically. In sum, we expect that the external perception of the organisation will vary depending on its name (i.e. GuinnessConceptual background and hypotheses: Ireland Group, GuinnessUDV Ireland or Diageo Ireland).Corporate and brand image: the key role of the name Yet, depending on the degree of change (evolutionary orCorporate image may be defined in a variety of ways revolutionary), corporate image will be differentially affected.(Bernstein, 1984; Abratt, 1989; Gray and Balmer, 1998). It is Based on the literature, the following hypotheses are putsometimes referred to as the global evaluation of a forward:corporation by an external stakeholder (Dowling, 2001; H1a. Corporate brand image will not vary significantly in theDavies and Chun, 2002). A consensus seems to have emerged case of an evolutionary corporate name change.around the notion that corporate image is an “overall H1b. Corporate brand image will vary significantly in theimpression formed as a result of a variety of formal and case of radical (revolutionary) corporate name change.informal signals emanating from the company” (Bernstein,1984). Among, the formal signals, corporate rebranding isprobably the strongest possible way to signify that something Corporate associations and brand portfolioin the company has changed (Kapferer, 2002). Indeed, Branding the corporation aims at improving corporaterebrandings are triggered by structural factors such as reputation by influencing stakeholders’ images of theinternationalisation, mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, company (Knox, 2004; Madden et al., 2006). Corporatediversification or divestment (Muzellec and Lambkin, 2006). reputation depends on a wide spectrum of expectations Defining a brand as “a name, term, symbol, design or a including financial performance and corporate social-combination of them” implies that the name forms the responsibility as well as the promise delivered by the brandessence of the brand concept (Aaker, 1991). The name is a (Fombrun and van Riel, 2004). The degree of synergycritical, core sign of the brand, the “basis for awareness and between the corporate brand and the product brand dependscommunications effort” (Aaker, 1991, 187). Since the name on the brand architecture (Keller, 1998; Varadarajan et al.,can bring inherent strength to a brand (Kohli and Labahn, 2006). The various relations can be illustrated along a1997; Klink, 2001); brand names need to be actively managed spectrum from the “branded house” to the “house of brands”,in order to influence external stakeholders. In a conventional including “endorsed brands” and “subbrands” (Aaker andbranding perspective, the name is an instrument at the Joachimsthaler, 2000). Most companies employ mixeddisposal of the marketing team, who can use symbolism in strategies but it is useful to characterise the two extremesorder to affect consumers’ perceptions of products or for the sake of clarity.corporations’ attributes (Klink, 2001; Yorkston and Menon, The “house of brands”, in which there is separation2004). Once launched however, the new name becomes the between the corporate and product brands, avoids “corporatepsychological property of consumers (Lerman and Garbarino, brand” associations that would adversely affect the image of2002). The same reasoning applies to corporations and the product brand. Reciprocally, at a corporate level, it allowscorporate branding. A corporate name is arguably the most the company to diversify into new product categories withoutvisible element of a visual identity system (Margulies, 1977; running any risk of diluting its corporate brand equity. P&G isMelewar and Saunders, 2000). A new name along with a new able to manage brands like Pampers, Iams dog food and Tidevisual identity can help to create brand new associations when laundry powder without damaging the brand equity of eitherintroduced successfully, as for example, with Lucent product or its own corporate brand equity. On the contrary, ifTechnologies, a spin-off of AT&T (Schmitt and Simonson, ´ P&G was, like Nestle, a strong brand, then by endorsing both1997). Iams and Pampers, it could affect negatively the image of the Corporate rebranding aims, therefore, at modifying the corporate brand and of the two product brands. Aaker andstakeholders’ perceptions. Like many corporate branding Joachimsthaler (2000) detail the advantages of a house ofprogrammes, it may do so by projecting the “company brands strategy from the product brand perspective:distinctiveness by using the total corporate communication companies should differentiate each brand if a separatemix (advertising, press conferences and releases, staged media brand can create and own an association, represent a new,events etc . . .) to impress external audiences” (Schultz and different offering, avoid an association or deal with a channelHatch, 2001). A review of rebranding examples indicates, conflict. Consumers may still form their brand images as ahowever, that all are not of the same order of magnitude. result of corporate behaviour as they realise that there is aThere appears to be a continuum in rebranding from the concrete business behind the offering (Fombrun and van Riel,relatively minor, evolutionary modification of the logos and 2004; Dacin and Brown, 2006). Yet, separating the corporateslogan to the major, revolutionary creation of a new name. brand from its constituent sub-units limits the ability of 322
  3. 3. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333corporations to leverage product brand equity – and vice versa Therefore, the same principles apply in reverse for an image– and it equally reduces the impact of reciprocal adverse spillover from the corporate level to the product level; inpublicity (Laforet and Saunders, 2005). particular for items that are most closely related to corporate By contrast, in a branded house context, where both associations such as social responsibility. Hence, the followingcorporation and products share the same name, the master hypothesis is put forward:brand is the primary driver for brand associations (Saunders H3b. Product image is significantly influenced by corporateand Guoqun, 1997). Reciprocally, corporate brands take on image on some specific items in a branded housevalues from the product portfolio (Brown and Dacin, 1997) as configuration (same name).well as from the corporation’s culture and heritage (Aaker, By corollary, once the corporate brand has been isolated from2004). The master brand becomes the umbrella for various its product (via a change of name of the corporation), theproducts or services offered. Virgin provides a typical images of product and corporation will become independentexample: Virgin Cola, Virgin Music, Virgin Airlines, and from one another. In sum, the images of the corporation willVirgin Jeans. Other examples include Honda, Philips or not be derived from the product and vice versa. To captureHeinz. Corporate brands can be applied to replace multiple, this notion of corporate brand isolation, the followingcomplex sub-brand structures to achieve cost efficiencies. In a hypotheses are put forward:corporate dominant system, the reputation of the corporation H4a. Corporate image is independent from product image incritically influences consumers’ perceptions of the services a house of brands configuration (different names).(Knox, 2004). Berens et al. (2005) have demonstrated the H4b. Product image is independent from corporate image inrole of the corporate brand in consumer product responses. a house of brands configuration (different names).Equally corporate images may be principally the result ofconsumers’ experience of the brand. In addition, perceptionsof the product brand are also used to evaluate corporate Description of context, the Guinness/Diageo casereputation. Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) suggest that thesynergies between product and corporate brand are stronger The case of Guinness demonstrates the practical problemsin a branded house situation as the master brand contributes and emerging issues relating to the management of brandto the offering by adding associations that enhance the value architecture. Guinness was a very strong, iconic corporateproposition, reinforcing the credibility, as well as increasing name with a lengthy heritage and a high degree of positivevisibility and communication efficiencies. emotional attachment (Griffiths, 2004). The rebranding The degree of synergy between the corporate brand and the corresponded to a change in the brand architecture andproduct brand depends on the brand architecture (Keller, marked the transformation from a situation where Guinness1998; Brown and Dacin, 1997; Aaker and Joachimsthaler, Stout and the St James Gate Brewery were quintessentially2000; Varadarajan et al., 2006). Based on the literature, a Irish to a situation where the group producing Guinnessrelationship between product image and the nature of became a global multi-brand company.corporate name (same name or different from the product Traditionally, the corporation and its main product sharedname) is expected; that is, a product brand image is affected the same name; Guinness was consequently omni-present inby a change in brand architecture, and therefore the following Irish life. A high level of goodwill was attached to the namehypotheses are put forward: Guinness, which was the result of a history of outstandingH2a. Product brand image will not vary significantly when corporate behaviour both internally and externally. Internally, the corporate name is not radically changed. Guinness had a paternalistic approach towards its employees.H2b. Product brand image will vary significantly over time In the late 1800s, the list of benefits for workers was when the corporate name is radically changed impressive by the standards of the time. Working for Guinness (modification of the brand architecture). meant wages at 10-20 per cent above the local average, guaranteed widow’s pensions, and six days paid holidays perThe principle that underpins a strategy where a product and a year, free medical care, homes and education (Byrne 1999).corporation share the same name is that of brand extension, Externally, Ireland and Guinness developed an entwinedwhich is to use the image of brands as leverage for enhancing relationship thanks to Guinness’s contribution to Irish lifesincerity. The notion of image spillover consists in leveraging through corporate sponsorship and community involvement.product brand images and extending those images to the In 1997, Guinness plc merged with Grand Metropolitan toupper level of the brand hierarchy, i.e. to the corporate brand. form Diageo plc. Like many rebrandings, the adoption of aConsumers and the general public are generally more in new name was triggered by a change in the financial structurecontact with the brand(s) than with the corporation. As a of the corporation. At the corporate headquarters (inresult, consumers are more likely to form their images of the London), the name change was considered a necessitycorporation through their experiences of the product brand. because of the need to give a name to a new corporateBecause the product and its brand are integrated as giant, which owned a variety of brands all over the world.constituent elements of the corporate brand and reputation Grand Met-Guinness had operations in 180 markets (Diageo,(Fombrun and van Riel, 2004), a product image spillover to 1998). The new entity was also involved in a variety of marketcorporate image when the two entities share the same name is sectors including spirits, wine and beer, but also packagedexpected: food and fast food which comprised Pillsbury, Totinos Pizza,H3a. Corporate brand image is strongly affected by product Green Giant, Haagen Daaz and Burger King[1]. The new image in a branded house configuration (same name). name was to provide a single roof over a house which was nowThe studies by Berens et al. (2005), Brown and Dacin (1997) hosting a complex collection of brands. The name “Diageoand Saunders and Guoqun (1997) have also indicated that plc” was chosen. It combines the Latin word for “day” andcorporate associations might influence product imagery. the Greek word for “earth”. 323
  4. 4. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333 The issue of whether to rename the business units or not Table I Summary of Hypotheseshad then to be addressed. In 2001, the decision was taken tointegrate the various business units together and, following a H1a Corporate brand image will not vary significantly in the case of anbrief internal debate, the executive board of Diageo plc evolutionary corporate name changedecided that the Irish operations would have to change their H1b Corporate brand image will vary significantly in the case of radicalname to Diageo Ireland: (revolutionary) corporate name change [. . .] the debate was between the heritage of the Guinness name and the H2a Product brand image will not vary significantly when the corporate necessity to reflect our global brand. But in the end, it was the global aspect name is not radically changed that prevailed. H2b Product brand image will vary significantly over time when the corporate name is radically changed (modification of the brandThe implementation of the change, however, was left to the architecture)Irish management. Guinness (Ireland) had already formally H3a Product image is significantly influenced by corporate image onmerged with United Distillers and Vintners to form some specific dimensions in a branded house configuration (sameGuinnessUDV. Grand Metropolitan brands were integratedinto the company’s portfolio. The corporate visual identity of name)GuinnessUDV first demarked itself from the traditional H3b Product brand image is strongly affected by corporate image in aGuinness identity. In this transition period, a new logo was branded house configuration (same name)adopted (Figure 1). H4a Corporate image is independent from product image in a house of In 2001, the two sides of the business were brought brands configuration (different names)together. The name was subsequently changed to Diageo for H4b Product image is independent from corporate image in a house ofall stakeholders, with the exception of customers (i.e. the brands configuration (different names)publicans), who continued to deal with GuinnessUDV untilFebruary 2004. From a brand architecture standpoint, the merger attitudes. Recently, a new scale has been introduced to studyeventually meant that Guinness stout had become only one corporate image called the Corporate Character Scale (CCS)of the eight global priority brands[2]. Another important (Davies et al., 2004). The CCS is made of 49 traits that areconsequence of the name change is that the corporate identity aggregated around seven dimensions:(now called Diageo) was no longer promoted directly towards 1 agreeableness;consumers but indirectly towards the general public via eight 2 enterprise;key stakeholder groups which included employees, investors, 3 competence;government, community, media, customers, suppliers, joint 4 chic;venture partners (JVPs). Corporate communication became 5 ruthlessness;limited to the topic of responsible drinking and business 6 machismo; andperformance. 7 informality. Building on the literature on brand extension and corporate This CCS was used in our research to assess the externalassociations, it has been suggested that spillover effects occurwhen product and corporation share the same name but do perceptions of the brand, i.e. the brand image.not occur when the two names are different. All of the This scale was administered to ten groups of undergraduatehypotheses are summarised in Table I and placed in the business students (n ¼ 433) as part as an in-class exercise.context of the case under investigation in Figure 2. Respondents were randomly assigned to grade a corporation How rebranding and brand architecture modification affect (either Guinness, or Guinness-UDV or Diageo) and one of itsconsumers’ images of the product and the corporation is the products (Guinness Stout or Smirnoff Ice). The threequestion addressed the next section. corporate names, i.e. the traditional name, the name adopted following the merger, and the new name corresponded to the three stages of the rebranding process.Methodology The two products chosen were Guinness Stout and SmirnoffIn marketing and organisational theory, the personification Ice. Smirnoff Ice was chosen because it displaysmetaphor has been widely used in developing measurement characteristics dissimilar to Guinness and therefore reflectedscales (Martineau, 1958; Aaker, 1997; Davies and Chun, the breadth of the brand portfolio.2003). Brand personality is “the set of human characteristics The format of the questionnaire was identical for allassociated with a brand” (Aaker, 1997). Although the respondents but the name variables being compared weredefinition – and subsequently the Brand Personality Scale arranged in pairwise comparisons, which were rotated in(BPS) – has been recently challenged (Azoulay and Kapferer, order to evaluate the impact of the change of name and its2003), brand personality remains the foremost construct used relation to product name. The combinations tested were asto characterise, compare and evaluate brand values and follows:Figure 1 Business logos Ireland (1997-2002) 324
  5. 5. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333Figure 2 Hypotheses in the context of the case. Questionnaire1A: Guinness Group Ireland and Guinness equal or in excess of 0.70, in line with what is considered as Stout (n ¼ 69; n valid ¼ 63). acceptable. The results show that the CCS is a reliable. Questionnaire 2A: GuinnessUDV Ireland and Guinness instrument to measure both product and corporate image. Stout (n ¼ 78; n valid ¼ 77).. Questionnaire 3A: Diageo Ireland and Guinness Stout Results (n ¼ 68; n valid ¼ 64).. Questionnaire 1B: Guinness Group Ireland and Smirnoff First, the change of perceptions before and after the Ice (n ¼ 67; n valid ¼ 65). rebranding (i.e. horizontal dynamics) is analysed for both. Questionnaire 2B: GuinnessUDV Ireland and Smirnoff the corporation and the product; second, the vertical Ice (n ¼ 80; n valid ¼ 76). relationship between the product level and the corporate. Questionnaire 3B: Diageo Ireland and Smirnoff Ice level of the brand hierarchy is then investigated. (n ¼ 71; n valid ¼ 66). Horizontal dynamics: evolution of corporate and Groups varied slightly in size due to the difference in product imageattendance for each class. 55 per cent of the respondents were The evolution of the corporate imagery depending on themale, 98 per cent were aged 18 to 24 and 95 per cent were degree of corporate name change is first explored, followed byIrish nationals. Missing values were treated according to the a similar investigation of the evolution of product image.following rules: If brand personality missing values were morethan ten out of a total of 98 traits (49*2; for both product and Evolution of corporate image (H1a and H1b)corporation), then the case was deleted. Based on this rule, 22 The average estimates for the seven dimensions of thecases were deleted (n valid ¼ 411). Students who were not corporate personality under the three different names arefamiliar with either the company or the product were asked to displayed in Table III and Figure 3. The corporate characterskip the questions pertaining to the unfamiliar product or scale is a five-point Likert scale; for each of the 49 traits,company. Out of the 22 cases deleted, nine were removed respondents are asked to state whether they strongly agree (1)because of the absence of answers for the Diageo personality or strongly disagree (5) that the trait describes the product orquestionnaire. corporate personality, which means that three indicates a In total, 128 valid observations were obtained for the neutral standpoint. A t-test is conducted to find out if there isGuinness Ireland Group, 153 for Guinness UDV and 130 for a significant difference between the image of the companyDiageo. Smirnoff Ice was evaluated by 207 respondents, and when named Guinness Group, GuinnessUDV and DiageoGuinness Stout by 204 respondents. and these results are presented in Table III. Reliability was measured by calculating Cronbach’s alpha Table III shows that the profiles of the corporation undercoefficient for the seven dimensions of the corporate character the two versions of the Guinness name are extremely similar;scale (Table II). All dimensions for both product and they show no significant differences in rating on the sevencorporate personality produced a Cronbach alpha coefficient dimensions. In contrast, the profile of the image of Diageo differs significantly from the image of both Guinness UDV and Guinness Group. Two independent sample t-tests areTable II Cronbach alpha coefficient per dimensions conducted. The table shows some differences for eachDimensions Product brand personality Corporate personality personality dimension for Guinness Ireland Group and Diageo Ireland. The differences are not significant forAgreeableness 0.87 0.79 agreeableness, competence or chic (p . 0:05) but there is aEnterprise 0.85 0.87 significant difference between the mean score for enterpriseCompetence 0.78 0.71 (t ¼ 23:186; p , 0:001), ruthlessness (t ¼ 23:658),Chic 0.73 0.76 machismo (t ¼ 7:372) and informality (t ¼ 6:129) all atRuthlessness 0.77 0.81 p , 0:001.Machismo 0.91 0.83 To evaluate whether knowledge of the rebranding had anInformality 0.75 0.78 impact on the perception of the company, respondents were asked to state whether they knew the new name for the 325
  6. 6. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333Table III Comparison of corporate personality under old and new names Guinness Guinness Sign. two-tailed Guinness Diageo Sign. two-tailed Ireland Group UDV Ireland t-test Ireland Group Ireland t-testAgreeableness 3.3387 3.2418 NS 3.3387 3.3442 NSEnterprise 2.6345 2.6231 NS 2.6345 2.9264 0.01Competence 3.6722 3.6648 NS 3.6722 3.7837 NSChic 2.6748 2.4959 NS 2.6748 2.7750 NSRuthlessness 2.6035 2.5837 NS 2.6035 2.9723 0.01Machismo 4.0417 3.9412 NS 4.0417 3.2865 0.01Informality 3.4648 3.3682 NS 3.4648 2.8047 0.01Figure 3 Personality profile of the corporation under three different The personality dimensions of enterprise, ruthlessness,names machismo and informality vary significantly. On the enterprise dimensions, it seems that Diageo has managed to rejuvenate its image, being perceived as younger, more up-to- date, innovative, imaginative, and exciting. Within the agreeable dimension, there may also be some significant variations. For example, Diageo is perceived as significantly more open, concerned and socially responsible while Guinness and GuinnessUDV are perceived as significantly more agreeable. In other words, there are no significant differences on the aggregated agreeable dimension but there are significant differences on some individual items. Both hypotheses (H1a and H1b) are therefore supported. Images of the company do not vary significantly when the name change is evolutionary but images do vary significantly when a radically new name is introduced. Evolution of product image (H2a and H2b)Guinness Ireland Group or GuinnessUDV (n ¼ 281). 64 per In this section, the evolution of product image following acent of the respondents were unaware of the new name; 34 change in the brand architecture is analysed. The hypotheses posit that product brand image will not vary significantlyper cent spontaneously stated that Diageo was the new name. when the corporate name is not radically changed (H2a) andA t-test showed no significant differences between the two that product brand image will vary over time when thegroups. Equally, knowing that Guinness had changed its corporate name is radically changed – modification of thename to Diageo did not modify the perception of Guinness. brand architecture (H2b). To evaluate whether a change in theThese perceptions were similar to those of respondents who brand architecture may also affect product image, sixdid not know about the rebranding and were significantly situations (corresponding to the six questionnaires) aredifferent on the same dimensions as for respondents who considered.evaluated Diageo. This means that knowledge of the First, the product image of Guinness Stout is comparedrebranding did not affect the results. depending on its endorser, i.e. Guinness Group, Diageo has less character than Guinness. The scores for the GuinnessUDV or Diageo. The evolution of Smirnoff Ice’snew name (Diageo) are higher on enterprise and ruthlessness image is compared under the three same conditions. In orderbut lower on machismo and informality. Overall the Diageo to explore the impact of a corporate rebranding on productbrand displayed a very flat, even personality that is rated close image, a one-way analysis of variance among the three groupsto the neutral mid-point. On average, all scores were between is conducted. The three conditions correspond to the three2.77 and 3.78. Conversely, the Guinness brand displayed stages of the rebranding process. For Guinness Stout, thestronger character dimensions with the average ranging from variance on each of the seven dimensions under the three2.60 to 4.04 (Figure 3). In sum, the rebranded corporation conditions is not significant. For Smirnoff Ice, the results are also not significant for the agreeableness, enterprise,with a previously unknown new name has a personality more competence, chic and ruthlessness dimensions. However, forneutral than with its old product brand name. the machismo dimensions, there is a statistically significant On an item-by-item basis, the most significant differences difference under the three conditions (F (2, 204Þ ¼ 6:61,between Guinness Ireland Group and Diageo Ireland were p , 0:005). Equally the perception of informality variesthe following[3]. Guinness Ireland Group was rated significantly depending on the endorser (F (2, 204Þ ¼ 10:25,significantly more charming, agreeable (þ 0.4), simple, p , 0:001). Post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD testmasculine, casual (þ 0.6), tough, easy-going (þ 0.75), indicated that the mean score on machismo was significantlyrugged (þ0.9). In contrast, Diageo Ireland was perceived as different (p , 0:05) between Guinness Group (M ¼ 1:56,more concerned, socially responsible (þ 0.9), up-to-date SD ¼ 0:67) and Diageo (M ¼ 2:04, SD ¼ 0:81) but not(þ0.7), achievement-oriented, controlling, snobby, young, between the Guinness Group and GuinnessUDV nor between´elitist (þ0.5), innovative and authoritative (þ0.4). GuinnessUDV and Diageo. For Informality, differences of 326
  7. 7. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333product image were significant (p , 0:05) between Guinness Corporation is either weak (for GuinnessUDV) or notGroup (M ¼ 2:91, SD ¼ 0:82) and GuinnessUDV significant (for Guinness Ireland Group). However, for(M ¼ 3:09, SD ¼ 0:97) and Diageo (M ¼ 3:52, SD ¼ 0:6), enterprise, competence, chic, ruthlessness, machismo, thebut not between Guinness Group and GuinnessUDV. correlation can be seen as medium to high at the 0.01 (two- This means that the image of Guinness Stout remains tailed) significance level. In a house of brands configurationunchanged regardless of the name of the company that (different names for the corporation and product),endorses it. The same could be said about Smirnoff with the relationships are not significant on a majority of dimensions.exception of two dimensions. In fact, Smirnoff Ice isperceived as more macho and more informal when endorsed Regression analysis: image spillover in a branded houseby Diageo, than when endorsed by Guinness Group or configuration (H3a and H3b)Guinness UDV. It seems that respondents are contrasting To investigate the relationship between product and corporateSmirnoff Ice’s personality with Guinness’s personality. As image in a branded house type of configuration, the results forGuinness is seen as macho and informal, respondents Guinness Ireland Group and Guinness UDV Ireland were putemphasise the feminine and formal aspects of Smirnoff Ice together and a succession of regression analyses were run forwhen endorsed by Guinness. The behaviour of respondents each personality dimension. Table V presents the regressioncan be explained thanks to the assimilation/contrast theory model results for Guinness Corporation (Guinness Ireland(Cooke et al., 2004), which implies that respondents over-rate Group and GuinnessUDV) and Guinness Stout.the feminine and formal aspects of Smirnoff Ice to contrast it The results show that the product image of Guinness Stoutwith the masculine and casual image of Guinness. strongly drives the image of the corporation on some specific In sum, the product brand image does not seem to vary dimensions. The machismo dimension (which is a strongsignificantly when the name is either slightly changed or characteristic of Guinness Stout), the chic, ruthlessness andradically changed. This leads to accept H2a and reject H2b. enterprise dimensions have substantial correlation coefficientThe combination of those findings implies that product brand values that predict 51.4 per cent, 49.5 per cent, 45 per cent,image does not vary significantly over time when the and 41.7 per cent respectively of the observed dependentcorporate name is modified. variable – Guinness Corporation. For agreeableness, competence and informality, product image only predictsExploring vertical product and corporate image relationships corporate image weakly.depending on the type of brand architecture (H3 and H4) The variability in corporate image for machismo is 26.4 perThe model proposed earlier splits into two scenarios: cent (R square ¼ 0:264) explained by the machismo image of1 before rebranding, where the corporation and its main the product. The variability in the corporate chic dimension is product share the same name; and 24.5 per cent (R square ¼ 0:245) explained by the product2 after rebranding, where the two entities have different chic dimension; the variability of corporate perceived names. ruthlessness at 20.2 per cent (R square ¼ 0:202) can beBefore running a regression model between product and accounted for by the product image for ruthlessness.corporate image, the degree of correlation between the two Based on those results, one can conclude that the image ofvariables depending on the brand architecture needs to be the corporate brand is driven by the product image when theevaluated. two share the same name. To corroborate this finding, we To investigate whether the two situations display different compared the overall image of the product brand Guinnesspatterns of relationship, a Pearson moment correlation was with the corporate brand Guinness to outline their similaritiesused to describe the strength and the direction of the linear (Table VI and Figure 4).relationship between product image and corporate image. When the corporation and its product share the same name,The results are presented in Table IV. images of the corporation seem to be driven by images of the The Pearson test shows a significant degree of correlation in product. The Guinness product brand is built around threea “branded house” type of configuration, i.e. when the pillars, which are goodness, power, and communionproduct and the corporation share the same name. For the (Griffiths, 2004). “Power” can be attributed to the taste ofagreeableness and the informality dimensions, the the drink, several advertising campaigns, and the fact that therelationship between Guinness product and Guinness stout is primarily drunk by men (Griffiths, 2004). As a result,Table IV Correlation between the different personality dimensions of a brand and its endorser Guinness Stout/Guinness Guinness Stout/ Guinness Stout/ Smirnoff Ice/Guinness Smirnoff Ice/Guinness Smirnoff Ice/ Ireland Group Guinness UDV Ireland Diageo Ireland Ireland Group UDV Ireland Diageo IrelandN valid 63 77 64 65 76 66Agreeable N/S 0.283 * N/S 2 0.394 * * 2 0.341 * * 0.277 *Enterprise 0.483 * * 0.361 * * 20.428 * * N/S N/S N/SCompetence 0.420 * * 0.258 * * N/S N/S 2 0.250 * N/SChic 0.529 * * 0.438 * * N/S N/S N/S N/SRuthlessness 0.342 * * 0.533 * * N/S N/S N/S N/SMachismo 0.571 * * 0.482 * * 0.254 * 2 0.316 * 2 0.256 * N/SInformality N/S 0.346 * * N/S 2 0.336 * * 0.240 * 2 0.258 *Notes: * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed); * * correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) 327
  8. 8. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333Table V Model results for branded house type of configuration Model Ra R square Adjusted R square Std error of the estimate B F Sig.Agreeableness 1 0.264 0.070 0.063 0.51255 0.243 10.254 0.005Enterprise 2 0.417 0.174 0.168 0.68036 0.380 28.794 0.000Competence 3 0.342 0.117 0.110 0.55446 0.302 18.108 0.000Chic 4 0.495 0.245 0.240 0.53975 0.400 44.530 0.000Ruthlessness 5 0.450 0.202 0.197 0.79389 0.455 34.765 0.000Machismo 6 0.514 0.264 0.259 0.72295 0.553 49.176 0.000Informality 7 0.276 0.076 0.069 0.91800 0.345 11.271 0.001Notes: Dependent variable: corporate image; a Predictors: (constant), product imageTable VI Personality scores for a product and a corporation with the If corporate image is clearly influenced by product image onsame name most dimensions, the effect might be reciprocal; i.e. product image can be the result of corporate image at least on some Guinness Stout Guinness Corp. specific traits. In this section, we test H3b by investigatingAgreeableness 3.40 3.12 traits that are more specifically associated with corporateEnterprise 3.00 2.73 image. Those items have been subjectively selected based onCompetence 3.40 3.68 the researcher’s own understanding of the GuinnessChic 2.70 2.65 Corporate Image heritage – informed through the caseRuthlessness 2.38 2.69 study. The items tested were: concerned, reassuring, honest,Machismo 3.73 4.07 sincere and socially responsible as they communicate theInformality 3.79 3.07 paternalistic heritage of the company. The results in Table VII show that product image is strongly influenced by corporate image for items such as honesty, sincerity and social-responsibility. The social-responsibilityFigure 4 Personality shape of a product and a corporation with the measure for Guinness Corporation predicts 55.6 per cent ofsame name the observed score for the Guinness product. 30.9 per cent of the variation in the socially responsible image of the Guinness Stout is explained by the socially responsible image of the Guinness Corporation. Similarly, the correlation coefficients for corporate honesty and sincerity indicate that 39 per cent and 42 per cent the product image is explained by the corporate images. The significance level of the F values – less than 0.0005 – indicates that the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between corporate image and product image can be rejected. For reassuring and concerned, which also relate to the “people-oriented” aspect of the Guinness corporate brand, the results are less convincing. R square values indicate that 8.4 per cent and 7.4 per cent of the variability in the reassuring and concerned image of the product is explained by the corporate image.the scores on the machismo dimensions for Guinness Stout Based on the results, the H3b that corporate image alsoare relatively high. Guinness Stout is perceived as masculine influences product imagery on some historical, corporate(4.2), tough (3.8) and rugged (3.9). The scores for the characteristics, can be accepted.corporation, i.e. Guinness Group or GuinnessUDV are almostidentical; 4.3, 3.9 and 3.8 respectively. Yet, under the Diageo Corporate brand isolation/ neutralisation (H4)name the scores are significantly lower: masculine (3.7); The results of the survey have shown so far that when atough (3.2), and rugged (2.8). The same reasoning applies to corporation and its main product share the same name,the informality dimension, which seems to be directly corporate image is influenced by product image. Equally, theinfluenced by the third pillar of the product brand: results have shown that some traits of the product image are“Communion”, which refers to the way the product is influenced by the corporate image heritage.consumed i.e. “people connecting with one another in a pub.” On the contrary, the change of name to Diageo IrelandAs a result, Guinness, the company, shows great similarities should diminish direct associations between the corporationwith Guinness the product, being perceived as equally casual and its product. The correlation showed that there was noand simple. significant relationship between product image of either H3a, which states that there is an image spillover from the Guinness or Smirnoff Ice and the corporate image of Diageo.product to the corporation when the two entities share the This means that product image does not influence corporatesame name, is therefore accepted. image and vice versa. 328
  9. 9. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333Table VII Model results for branded house type of configuration Ra R square Adjusted R square Std error of the estimate B F Sig.Concerned 0.289 0.084 0.077 0.89751 0.257 12.394 0.001Reassuring 0.275 0.076 0.069 1.03394 0.279 11.200 0.001Honest 0.398 0.158 0.152 0.95589 0.397 25.795 0.000Sincere 0.421 0.177 0.171 0.94265 0.428 29.226 0.000Socially responsible 0.556 0.309 0.304 0.91722 0.548 61.292 0.000Notes: Dependent variable: product image; a predictors: (constant), corporate imageThe notion of corporate brand isolation means that the modify consumers’ corporate image was verified with thecorporation develops a personality independent of the images CCS. The survey shows that the variation in perception ofof its product. To test H4 – that corporate brand image is personality between Guinness Ireland Group andindependent from the brand images of the product portfolio GuinnesssUDV was not significant (H1a), while thein a house of brands configuration – we compared and variation between either of those names and Diageo wascontrasted the personalities of Diageo with that of Guinness significant on most dimensions (H1b).Stout and Smirnoff Ice. With the exception of the chic The second set of findings pertains to the linkages betweendimension, differences are significant on all dimensions corporate image and product image. One of our hypothesesbetween Smirnoff Ice and Diageo; equally differences (H2b) proposed that a radical change of name at the corporatebetween Guinness Stout and Diageo are significant on the level affects product imagery. The survey revealed, on theruthlessness, machismo and informality dimensions. Figure 5 contrary, that a change in the brand architecture (strictsummarises the comparison of the personalities of Guinness separation between new corporate name and product brand)Stout, Smirnoff Ice and Diageo on the seven dimensions did not affect product image. The second series of tests aimedmeasured on the Character Scale. The diagram clearly at determining the potential spillover effect from productdemonstrates the dissimilarity among the three brands. image to corporate image. The hypothesis H3a, that corporate On the basis of this test, we can accept H4a that corporate image was derived from product image, was accepted.image is independent from product image and vice versa Reciprocally, on some key traits that can be attributed to(H4b) in a house of brands configuration (different names). historical corporate behaviour, there is a reciprocal spillover effect from corporate to product image (H3b) when the twoSummary of findings entities share the same name. The acceptance of these two hypotheses validates the image spillover model of a brandedThis study has sought to contribute to the understanding of house type of configuration. As expected, when corporate andcorporate and brand images by considering how they are product brands are not linked through their name, differentaffected by a corporate rebranding. The results have shown perceptions are allowed to be formed – validation of H4.that the perceived personality of the new corporate branddiffers significantly from the previous name. The image of the Discussion and implicationsold name is very much aligned with the image of the productbrand that shares its name. The rebranding process The findings of this study deepen our knowledge in the area ofimplemented at Diageo Ireland may be quite original in the rebranding, product brand/corporate brand interactions andsense that the company did not proclaim that “Diageo was the corporate brand building. They also have some significantnew Guinness”; instead it gradually introduced an managerial implications.evolutionary name to key stakeholders before presenting a Corporate branding can be seen as the receptacle of both aradically new name. This case clearly shows that a corporate marketing tradition that focuses on consumers and a multi-rebranding can be successful in shaping new images. The disciplinary tradition which is centred on the organisation.hypothesis (H1) that only a radical change of name will Consumers’ bond and emotional attachment may be a valuable asset at the product level; yet at the corporate level itFigure 5 Asymmetrical personalities in a “house of brands” can be a burden. A rebranding at the corporate level thatconfiguration seeks to dissociate the corporation from its products allows the corporation to reflect more accurately its corporate reality. In the case studied, the empirical investigation bears this out by showing clearly that the company and the product are mainly linked through their name and suggesting that corporate images may be irrelevant to consumers – only product images matter. For consumers, corporate images seem to be irrelevant and ineffective in changing their perceptions of the product. Under its former product brand name, the company displayed personality traits that were aligned with the intended image of the product brand. The Guinness product brand is built around three pillars, which are goodness, power, and communion (Griffiths, 2004). Hence 329
  10. 10. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333the company and the brand are equally perceived as Limitations and further researchmasculine (4.3), tough (3.9) and rugged (3.8). Yet, under Although this study reports some key findings, it is notthe Diageo name the scores are significantly lower: masculine without limitations. One limitation is related to the use of a(3.7); tough (3.2), and rough (2.8). The same reasoning single case study. Although the case study approach hasapplied to the informality dimension, which seems to be allowed us to gain a deep insight on the rebrandingdirectly influenced by the third pillar of the product brand: phenomenon, this has been at the expense ofcommunion, which refers to the way the product is consumed generalisability. For example, the branding of the CSRi.e. “people connecting with one another in a pub.” As a programme towards the general public and government butresult, Guinness, the company, shows great similarities with not towards consumers might be a particular feature of theGuinness the product, being perceived as equally casual and alcohol industry but not of others. Yet, considering the strongsimple while Diageo is seen as more formal. One can question criticism of global corporations and their alleged lack ofthe relevance for a company to be perceived in a way that is accountability, the model might still be used as a template foraligned with its product brand image. The machismo and any global company that has to be both accountable to itsinformality attributes might be constitute a competitive shareholders and to society at large. In order to be able toadvantage at the brand level but may not deliver any generalise the findings, multiple case studies of variouspositive return at the corporate level. companies in various industries in different countries would In contrast, a differentiated name allows the company to be necessary and this would constitute a worthwhile directiondevelop a personality independent from its products. With an for future research.adequate corporate brand communications programme, With regard to the survey, two issues may be raised. Thewhich emphasises on both entrepreneurship and social results reflect the perception of 20-year-old students who mayresponsibility, Diageo was able develop a new personality. not be representative of the entire consumer population. TheThe new brand might be less “warm”, being perceived as less brand images of 20-year-old students may be influenced more“friendly” and “agreeable”; but it has managed to shape an by the current product brand communications programmeimage aligned with the requirement of today’s business than by corporate heritage and behaviour. This might explainenvironment; i.e. “up-to-date, innovative, imaginative” and the similarity in personalities between the product brand“international”. Overall, this new corporate image is more Guinness and the corporate brand Guinness. A worthwhileneutral (rating around the mid-point of the Likert scale) than issue for further research would be to capture the perceptionthe one under the old name. of a wider sample representative of the entire consumer If corporate branding is about placing the corporation in population (by surveying older consumers). The purpose ofthe spotlight (Fombrun and van Riel, 2004), and if brands the study was to capture consumers’ images. A worthwhileexist once they are present in the mind of consumers (Keller, route for further research would be to include other1998), one might question the brand status of Diageo. But stakeholders such as publicans and also employees, jobthis contention leads necessarily to a re-assessment of seekers, journalists and government.traditional views on corporate branding. Another limitation is that the study adopted a cross- Traditional corporate (endorsed) branding strategies carry a sectional research design to study what is fundamentally acertain degree of reputation risk. For example, the move from longitudinal process. Given that corporate rebranding is aBSN to the Danone Group has increased the company’s dynamic process and that a certain period of time may beexposure, which may now be more prone to consumers’ needed before external images evolve, a longitudinal researchboycott when it takes a decision that is contradictory to its design spanning a number of years (before, during and after the rebranding) would undoubtedly provide a richer and morebrand proposition. Yet rejecting traditional corporate brand accurate understanding of the phenomenon. However, by waymodels also has some reputation implications (Balmer and of compensation, the case study approach does provide aGreyser, 2003). Brands are not immune from the criticism of useful validity check on the longitudinal dimension because itgovernments, activists and consumer associations. As a result necessarily involves a detailed study of the evolution of thethe corporations behind those brands need to be perceived as company over time.responsible citizens (Fombrun and van Riel, 2004). Finally, although the CCS is a good instrument to capture Corporate brand isolation is an idea that can be used by the complexity of corporate and brand images, some othercompanies willing to constrain their relationship with instruments and variables could also have been used, possiblycustomers at the product brand level while developing an with different results. For future research, moderatingindependent corporate brand for the relationships with the variables such as familiarity and experience could be takengeneral public and other stakeholders. While corporate brands into consideration, while the congruency between brand andare affected by mergers and acquisitions, diversification and corporate image and reputation should also be investigated.divestment, the individual (product) brand remains a stablerelationship focus with consumers. On the other hand, theneed for greater accountability is satisfied through the Conclusionscorporate branding of the CSR programme towards The Guinness/Diageo case study reveals that consumers’government and the general public. Because of this images of the product brand were not affected by a change atseparation, the socially responsible actions of the the corporate level and, yet, they perceive the companycorporation are not leveraged at product/consumer level but differently when the name has been radically changed. That isthe separation acts as a firewall in case of corporate behaviour because the images of the company under its old name were(e.g. firing off workers) antithetical to the product brand mainly derived from the images of the product that bears theproposition. same name (image spillover). Following a change in the name 330
  11. 11. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333of the corporation – a change from a branded house to a formation of consumer ideals”, Journal of Consumerhouse of brands architecture – the relationship between the Research, Vol. 31 No. 1, p. 112.images of the products and the corporation become less Dacin, P.A. and Brown, T.J. (2006), “Corporate branding,significant. The corporate brand and product brands then identity and customer response”, Journal of the Academy ofdevelop separate, independent personalities and corporate Marketing Science, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 95-9.brand images become irrelevant for consumers, as their Davies, G. and Chun, R. (2002), “Gaps between the internalrelationship with the company is restricted to their images of and external perceptions of the corporate brand”, Corporatethe product brand (corporate brand neutralisation). Reputation Review, Vol. 5 Nos 2/3, pp. 144-58. Davies, G. and Chun, R. (2003), “The use of metaphor in theNotes exploration of the brand concept”, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 45-71. 1 By 2000, Diageo plc had divested several subsidiaries to Davies, G., Chun, R., da Silva, R.V. and Roper, S. (2004), “A concentrate on alcohol products which mainly comprised corporate character scale to assess employee and customer a spirit side – the heritage of GrandMet – and a brewing views of organization reputation”, Corporate Reputation side -the heritage of Guinness. Review, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 125-46. 2 Other priority brands are Smirnoff; Johnny Walker, Diageo (1998), Annual Report 1998, Diageo, London. Baileys, J&B Whiskey, Captain Morgan Rum, Jose Dowling, G. (2001), Creating Corporate Reputations, Oxford Cuervo tequila and Tanqueray gin. University Press, Oxford. 3 With the exception of charming, GuinnessUDV Fombrun, C.J. and van Riel, C.B.M. 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  12. 12. Does Diageo make your Guinness taste better? Journal of Product & Brand Management Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin Volume 16 · Number 5 · 2007 · 321 –333Melewar, T.C. and Saunders, J. (2000), “Global corporate trade representative at the French Embassy Trade Office in visual identity systems: using an extended marketing mix”, New York. His qualification includes an MBA from Texas European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 34 Nos 5/6, pp. 538-50. A&M International University and a PhD from UCD SmurfitMuzellec, L. and Lambkin, M.C. (2006), “Corporate School of Business. His articles on corporate rebranding have rebranding: destroying, transferring or creating brand appeared in the Corporate Reputation Review, the Journal of equity?”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 40 Nos 7/8, Brand Management and the European Journal of Marketing. pp. 803-24. Laurent Muzellec is the corresponding author and can beSaunders, J. and Guoqun, F. (1997), “Dual branding: how contacted at: corporate names add value”, Journal of Product & Brand Mary Lambkin is Professor of Marketing at the UCD Management, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 40-8. Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin. She isSchmitt, B.H. and Simonson, A. (1997), Marketing Aesthetics: the Irish representative of the European Marketing Academy the Strategic Management of Brands, Identity and Image, Free and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Strategic Press, New York, NY. Marketing. She has published in the Journal of Marketing, theScholder Ellen, P., Webb, D.J. and Mohr, L.A. (2006), International Journal of Research in Marketing and the European “Building corporate associations: consumer attributions for Journal of Marketing. 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Those with a Marketing Science, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 195-205. particular interest in the topic covered may then read the articleVisa (n.d.), “Hot topic the new Visa commercail brand”, in toto to take advantage of the more comprehensive description of available at: (accessed the research undertaken and its results to get the full benefit of the 4 July 2005). material present.Yorkston, E. and Menon, G. (2004), “A sound idea: phonetic effects of brand names on consumer judgments”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 43-51. Watering down Guinness? The Diageo effect Guinness is a strong drink. It is a strong brand. It is availableFurther reading everywhere it seems, the world over. It is certainly popular wherever alcohol is permitted. Few places can resist the blackAlashban, A.A., Hayes, L.A., Zinkham, G. and Balazs, A. stuff with the creamy head. (2002), “International brand-name standardization/ The nature of the Irish diaspora begins to explain it, but not adaptation antecedents and consequences”, Journal of quite, not fully. Irish bars have sprung up in places with few International Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 22-48. Irish, and Guinness’s success extends way beyond the IrishBryman, A. and Cramer, D. (2001), Quantitative Data bars. Analysis with SPSS Release 10 for Windows, Routledge, Guinness have acted as something of a consumer marketing Hove. role model over the years. Most advertising museums, shouldDacin, P.A. and Smith, D.C. (1994), “The effect of brand such institutions exist, would feature the posters, and the beer portfolio characteristics on consumers evaluation of brand mats and the merchandise and paraphernalia. It seems to extension”, JMR, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 31 belong to everyone, and is part of the narrative of the social No. 2, pp. 229-42. history of the twentieth Chernatony, L. (1999), “Brand management through With Guinness the product name was interchangeable with narrowing the gap between brand identity and brand that of the company. Guinness sold Guinness and the world reputation”, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 15, new what they stood for. It was and is a venerable brand. pp. 157-79. Except that Guinness no longer make and sell Guinness.Muzellec, L. (2005), “What is in a name change? Re-Joycing That privilege belongs to Diageo. Who? Diageo, an untried, corporate names to create corporate brands”, Corporate untested commodity. Diageo is the corporate identity for the Reputation Review, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 305-21. people who make Guinness – among other things. Diageo, aSchultz, M. and de Chernatony, L. (2002), “The challenges name that would seem to have breadth, enabling the company of corporate branding”, Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 5 to move beyond its core products. But will the introduction of Nos 2/3, pp. 105-12. the new name risk, well watering down one of the world’sWhelan, S. (2004), The Role of Brand Names in Determining best-loved beers? Private Label Image and Purchase Intentions, Marketing Department, Manchester Business School, Manchester. Abandoning the old and embracing the new Research by Muzellec and Lambkin has examined the evolutionary introduction of the Diageo name, and hasAbout the authors implications beyond the company concerned and the drinksLaurent Muzellec is a Lecturer in Marketing at Dublin City industry.University Business School. He has formerly worked as a They set out to test that: 332