On June 6, Jamba Juice, a quick-service California-based chain, squeezed out the word “juice” from their name and is now just Jamba. After nearly thirty years of being known for their delicious, yet sugary juices, Jamba’s name change is the first step in revamping the company to align with modern day health trends.
A Reverse Juice Cleanse
In a commitment to revive the brand, Jamba’s new name and logo will also be accompanied with the revised tagline ‘Smoothies, Juices and Bowls’. These major changes occurred nearly a year after Jamba Juice was purchased by Atlanta-based Focus Brands Inc. When asked about the company’s sudden dedication to rebranding, Jamba’s President Geoff Henry responded, “The idea was around healthy living starts locally, so we’re taking that same ideology and methodology into the brand today”.
In the decades since the brand’s initial launch in 1990, juice has earned a less than desirable reputation. As consumers become more focused on watching their calorie and sugar intake, sugar-filled juice products are no longer flying off the shelves.
In fact, a research study conducted by Eurominor International found that in 2012, Americans were purchasing nearly four billion gallons of juice. Just five years later in 2017, this number had dropped by about 530 million gallons. As a result of this market change, Jamba had no choice but to rebrand in order to stay current and profitable.
The New Jamba
Along with a new name, Jamba is also launching a revised menu for 2019 that will include a wider variety of healthy options. The brand will introduce bowls and “fun size on-the-go bites”. According to Jamba, the company has worked with nutritionists to include plant-based and reduced sugar options that will help the brand attract new customers or regain old ones.
The 2019 menu will focus on whole-food ingredients and do away with high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. A popular and very Instagram-worthy new item is Jamba’s plant based Vanilla Blue Sky Smoothie and Bowl, featuring naturally occurring blue spirulina.
Beautifully Blue. Blended Smooth. Always Delicious. Introducing: Vanilla Blue Sky pic.twitter.com/ro9PA8fjp1— Jamba (@JambaJuice) June 6, 2019
With over 800 locations, customers can expect to see changes to Jamba stores nationwide. These changes will include redesigned stores with light wood and calmer colors. For those who prefer to skip the wait and order online, Jamba released a new mobile app and delivery options through Uber Eats and Postmates. It is now easier and healthier than ever to be a Jamba fiend.
A Juicy Trend
Jamba is not the first franchise to change its name in an effort to rebrand. Earlier this year, Dunkin’ Donuts changed its name to Dunkin’. According to the company, this change was made to relabel the brand as more beverage-focused, rather than being restricted to donuts. With more and more companies changing their name, how can your business know when it’s time to drop the “juice”?
The Name Game
For businesses that want to create brand identity, selecting a company name with a positive connotation is essential. A brand name is the first and unfortunately sometimes the last impression a customer will know about your company. Selecting or changing your brand’s name is an opportunity for the public to learn a new word or phrase they will associate as being either positive or negative. Although it may seem like an easy switch, changing your company’s name involves incredibly detailed planning, strategy and execution.
Change Can Be Challenging
Business owners change their company name for a variety of reasons. For some companies like Jamba, a name change is an attempt to enter a new market or introduce alternative products. Other companies may rebrand themselves if their name is easily confused with a similar brand or logo. A company name should stand out but not to the point where it is hard to pronounce or spell. It is recommended to limit the name to as few words as possible because people are bound to abbreviate it.
Business owners should also consider the digital component of a name change. Be sure that the new name you select is obtainable as a dot-com domain. After securing a revised internet domain, Jamba also updated its e-commerce platform to be more user-friendly. The company listened to what customers requested and customized the platform to include mobile ordering options, dietary preferences, unified gift cards and a brand new loyalty program run by Punchh Platform.
Telling Your Story
Once the technical wrinkles are ironed out, it’s extremely important to focus on telling your company’s story. Rebranding is about more than just a name change. Without a new and genuine story to accompany the name change, the rebranding may come across as surface level or a power move to generate more revenue.
Storytelling in the digital age is especially pertinent. Depending on the audience your business is trying to reach, telling your story could be through a comprehensive social media campaign, monthly email series, press releases or a digital advertisement.
Looking back to Jamba, the company announced the meaning behind the brand’s updated logo on the website’s newsroom. According to the website, Jamba selected a new emerald green brand color with handwritten script in order to represent the fruits and vegetables the brand uses every day. Every question a consumer may have about your company’s name change and story should be strategically communicated.
New Name, Added Benefits
When executed well, a name change can be a viable method of reinventing your company. This being said, rebranding must be carefully thought out beforehand because businesses cannot keep changing their name if the first time is not a success. Many of today’s leading companies underwent a name change like Google, previously Backrub, or AOL, previously Quantum Computer Services.
Just as no company is the same, each individual business should have a different strategy when changing their name. According to a 2019 Forbes study, 76 percent of consumers believe that companies should understand their wants and needs. After struggling for the past few years as consumers moved away from sugary juice products, Jamba took the initiative to listen to what their consumers wanted by changing the brand completely and offering healthier alternatives.
As more companies are changing their names, this rebranding strategy may just become the new industry trend. After all, your company name is your brand. It may be time to squeeze out the juice or drop the donuts.
Gwyneth Donahue is a public relations associate at Flackable, a national, full-service public relations and digital marketing agency headquartered in Philadelphia.