Friday, June 23, 2017

Family feud - the branding edition

Recently it caught my eye that what used to be Zoughaib - the local jeweler store - has suddenly become Zoughaib & Sons, and the Doumit Zoughaib helmed stores, suddenly became in an act of fast rebranding Zoughaib & Co (the signage on the stores was exceptionally haphazard and make shift done it ended up in two colors - black and "co" written on a green background). There is also - separately - from the same family (though no idea if related) Michel Zoughaib (and offered graciously by google Nadia Zoughaib too).
On another edition, there is Iwan Maktabi, Hassan Maktabi, Yehya Maktabi, Ali Maktabi, Hadi Maktabi, Cyrus Maktabi, Maktabi at the park, Oumnia by Nevine Maktabi (apologies if I forgot anyone) all of them in the carpet business. Hallab, the sweets makers, have so many sub-denominations as well. Thankfully, the late Joy Zahar sold out its brand so that it did not breed any offshoots. But this naturally brings me to the title of this post "family feud". I have no idea what circumstances led the Zoughaibs to such a move or what the internal family dynamic is (or if they are related as I assumed they are!), but this has branching out happened so many times it gets confusing eventually. One cannot say "I am off to Hallab for some sweets" - which is why renaming the Abdul Rahman Hallab stores as "Kasr el Helou" (the palace of sweets) was a very smart move since it distinguishes it from the rest of the family.
Perhaps jewelers who capitalized on their family name are a bit less lucky and I think the "& Co" vs "& Sons" was not a good choice either especially with the rebranding of Zoughaib & Co seems to be taking a lot of time whereas Zoughaib & Sons (not sure if because they have less branches or what) seems to have undertaken a swift job at it. Again I contacted no party while writing this post but my assumption that people from the same family in the same business got me to the conclusion that they are related biologically.
Is there any way for a brand which stems from a family name to demark itself? While emphasizing its heritage and belonging? Certainly calling one's self Zoughaib & Co out of nowhere is not the way to do it. Perhaps Michel Zoughaib got the magic formula after all, you use the family name and the first name. You are yourself after all. And Doumit Zoughaib who inserted himself in every advertising for his brand perhaps should have played that card.
The Zoughaib logo (before having &Co) was the one below:
And the current Zoughaib website gives this image below:
Many resources and compiling websites on the net still refer to the whole enterprise - confusingly - as "Zoughaib". Such lists are rarely if ever updated, which will put even more confusion in the head of consumers. Since most of the time I take the approach of a regular consumer to understanding advertising, I for one will be confused for a long time to come.