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BP Rebranding in 2000 - Marketing Campaign Fails #2

Updated: Sep 2, 2021




Why Didn't It Work?


Background


In 2000, BP rebranded the company from “British Petroleum” to “Beyond Petroleum.” BP’s rebranding includes a new logo design that features a green and yellow Helios sun symbol to represent the brand’s renewed environmental awareness and green growth strategy.


What happened?


While BP’s brand relaunch sought to portray the fossil fuel company as more environmentally conscious and committed to reinventing the energy business, the brand’s actions henceforth presented a conflicting reality. In respect to capital allocation alone, BP supposedly spent $7m in brand research, up to $100m in following years to develop the rebranding and $8b in annual expenditure on oil explorations, which could have otherwise been committed towards renewable energy endeavours.


Moreover, BP failed to fulfil its new “green” image, as its oil expeditions in 2006 and 2010 resulted in record size oil spills in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico respectively. Regardless of BP’s “green” campaign, these incidents saw BP ironically discontinue many solar and wind energy projects to mend financial losses. Consumers responded negatively, as seen in a 3.6% drop in the company’s consumer sales and a 4.2% decline in company prices. Thus in hindsight, BP’s 2000 rebranding is considered by the media and consumers as an unrealistic representation of the major oil company and an ineffective marketing campaign.


Key Takeaways


Despite the inherent dangers of a petroleum company suddenly shifting its image to an ecologically conscious company, its logo change and disproportionately large spendings on marketing brought about accusations that the rebranding was in conflict with the company’s true practices. Thus, it is essential for every brand to ensure that their logo and brand image aligns with its true identity and practices.


Written by Sena Yanaka and Simone Wei.


References


A. (2019, February 22). 3 Rebrand Stories that Did Not End Well. . . FreeLogoDesign. https://www.freelogodesign.org/blog/2019/02/22/3-rebrand-stories-that-did-not-end-well


Hardy, T. (2021a, July 16). 17 Rebranding Failures and How Much They Cost | Canny. Canny Creative. https://www.canny-creative.com/rebranding-failures-how-much-they-cost/


Carpenter, S. (2020, August 5). After Abandoned ‘Beyond Petroleum’ Re-brand, BP’s New Renewables Push Has Teeth. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottcarpenter/2020/08/04/bps-new-renewables-push-redolent-of-abandoned-beyond-petroleum-rebrand/?sh=42e404731ceb


Study: Green Advertising Helped BP Recover from the Deepwater Horizon Spill. (2016, August 18). Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/02/study-green-advertising-helped-bp-recover-from-the-deepwater-horizon-spill’


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