September 2022

A Fishy Rebranding Effort

Blog Rebrand

In the 1960’s America started to import Asian carp to help remove algae in wastewater treatment facilities.  What looked like a great idea on paper quickly turned into an ongoing ecological nightmare. The clever carp quickly escaped their treatment facilities into the Mississippi river. From there they spread to other waterways creating an ongoing invasive species problem that has proven to be difficult to control.

Carp proved very good at outcompeting native fish species and killing off many of these species by eating available food supplies. One type of invasive carp, the silver carp, has also proven dangerous to humans, because, when they are disturbed by things like boat motors, they jump from the water potentially injuring boaters.

Over the years there have been many efforts to control the spread of carp which, unfortunately, have not been very successful. One challenge is that carp are not considered good to eat, so the millions of American anglers aren’t trying to catch them.

So what’s the solution? The Illinois Department of Natural Resources believes the answer may be in rebranding the invasive species to encourage people to want to eat them. By changing the species name from carp to copi, and educating people on how to prepare the fish, they plan on beating them by all of us eating them.

While it may seem like a big marketing challenge, there have been species rebranding efforts that have been extremely successful. One classic example from the 70’s is the renaming of Patagonia Toothfish to Chilean Sea Bass, turning a fish that no one wanted to eat into a mainstay of restaurant menus. It was such a successful effort that there is now concern about serious depletion of the species.

All this just goes to show that looking at a problem from a different angle can turn a negative into a positive. In marketing, the right positioning can turn a languishing product into a huge seller.          

If you’d like to learn more about the power of rebranding and product positioning give the brand experts at Insight a call at 605-275-0011 or send us an email. We can even meet for a tasty copi lunch if you’d like.

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