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FedEx announced yesterday that it will change the name of its Kinko’s printing and office services business to FedEx Office. FedEx bought Kinko’s in 2004 for $2.4 billion.
KC's View:
I bring this up because it is yet another branding decision that I do not understand.

I gather, based on the stories about this name change, that the Kinko’s concept is “struggling.” But clearly it wasn't struggling in 2004 when FedEx bought it.

So the question I would ask is simple: Why?

Is it the name? Somehow I doubt. In fact, I’m willing to bet that for many of us who have used Kinko’s over the years, the chain is going to remain Kinko’s, no matter what the name is on the front door.

No, I’d suggest that maybe there’s something amiss either with the service being provided or the specifics of the offering. One of two things is likely – that either the people behind the counter aren’t doing their jobs, or somehow the basic Kinko’s offerings hasn’t kept up with the evolving needs of small business owners.

My guess – and I’m probably not representative of Kinko’s broader customer base – is that it is the former. My experience is that the customer service can be hit or miss…it depends on the store, the location, the manager, and the personalities involved. But there isn’t much consistency.

The decision to lose the name – with no mention of addressing any of these other issues – strikes me as an example of what a lot of companies do when faced with “struggling” operations. They look for the easy fix, the so-called low-hanging fruit. But these aren’t always the problems…and these moves won’t do anything other than cost the company money for new signs.