Kinkos R.I.P.

This week, we’re discussing kinkos.

Why?

Because I’m standing in line at the store right now at midnight waiting to get my 52 page senior seminar report binded. It’s this company’s brand recall and brand promise that pulled through for me tonight. Although Kinkos may not rise to the forefront of your mind in everyday life, if you’re on a tight dealine and need to bind, print, copy quickly- you will be thankful for the local 24/7 Kinkos on 3691 Airport Boulevard. As partners with FedEx, Kinkos is built around speedy customer service and delivery anywhere. That’s a great service to market. For business, school or personal projects, Kinko’s markets themselves as being devoted to service and quality because they recognize that these things reflect on you.

This is my favorite campaign by Kinko’s that was used to drive internet traffic and it was very successful. Here’s a brief description of the campaign from, surprisingly enough, the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“The company kicked off its campaign called “No More All Nighters” to promote its online print service to small-business owners in March 2007. To develop an integrated campaign to reach small-business owners, the company worked with its advertising agency BBDO New York; online agency Atmosphere BBDO; promotional agency Integer Group; and public relations (PR) agency Ketchum. The campaign includes an integrated mix of TV, print, online, in-store and guerrilla marketing. Since the campaign broke, the traffic to the Web site FedExKinkos.com went up by 20%, and registrations for the print online service are up by 40%.”

 

With so much popularity and promise built around this brand, I was astounded to find out in my research that FedEx Kinko’s was rebranding, knocking out Kinko’s and calling the business FedEx Office as of June 2008. My source, commercialappeal.com, is below and it taught me an important lesson in big business and company ownership of smaller companies. I’d like to hear your thoughts about this rebranding

Important pieces to highlight from the article:

“Four years ago, FedEx Corp. paid $2.4 billion for Kinko’s, the neighborhood copying center America knew for its quirky brilliance. Monday, FedEx changed the name, taking an $891 million noncash charge — $2.22 per diluted share — mostly to retire the Kinko’s brand. The new name, FedEx Office better reflects what the division is about, said Brian Philips, the division’s new president and chief executive.

“We are a back office for small businesses and a branch office for medium to large businesses and mobile professionals,” he said.

FedEx is writing off $515 million for the value of the name, and taking $376 million in goodwill, an indication some say of how much FedEx overpaid to get Dallas-based Kinko’s under its roof. The company related the remaining $9 million to other factors it did not name.

“FedEx wants to make Kinko’s an integrated part of the overall business,” said Dan Ortwerth at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

“Keeping the Kinko’s name would preserve a psychological separation that doesn’t exist anymore.”

In the beginning, the identity was important to reassure those loyal to Kinko’s that the brand was what they had always known and trusted. Now that the public accepts Kinko’s as part of FedEx, the time is right for change, he said. “You have to massage these things into existence.”

According to an 8-K the company filed Monday, a key factor in the in the end-of-year decision — the company’s fiscal year ended Saturday — was a decline in FedEx Kinko’s recent and forecasted financial performance.”If you are not making much or losing money, accountants are going to test what the worth is on the balance sheet,” said Donald Broughton, Avondale Partners analyst in St. Louis.

“It’s a division that obviously has struggled, and profitability has been marginal.”

“This company has earned some latitude in my mind to be able to do whatever it wants when it comes to branding initiatives.”

“If they decide they want to rebrand, fine, go ahead and rebrand. They certainly have a track record of being able to make very wise decisions.”

FedEx had already put the brakes Kinko’s expansion around the globe, slowing it from about 300 new stores in fiscal 2008 to about 70 in fiscal 2009. Last year, FedEx stopped reporting Kinko’s financials as a separate division, saying the division was so critical to the corporation as a whole as a package drop-off site that it was not necessary to make it a stand-alone profit center.

The company says it gets $1 billion in package business through Kinko’s a year.”

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About akgranier

- I recently completed my Masters of Business Administration at Lynchburg College in August 2011. - Currently, I am the Marketing Director of Paris Ceramics America where I develop online and print advertisements for national publications (New York Spaces, Elle Décor, LUXE, Architectural Digest, Green Building & Design). - I have participated in five internships throughout my undergraduate experience in New York City, Washington D.C., Mobile and New Orleans. I was recognized as one of the top advertising students in the nation by the American Advertising Federation & awarded an internship with Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Advertising Agency at their New York City headquarters as part of the 2009 Stickell Internship Program. - I graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama in May 2010 (3.8 overall GPA, 4.0 in major) as the President’s Scholar (top of class) for Communication Arts. Please connect with me at akgranier@gmail.com.

3 comments

  1. csbronenkamp

    Kinkos, or Fedex Office as it is now known, is “clutch” for both a small-business owner and a student/individual. The one thing you have to be careful with going to Fedex Office is that you are paying for convenience and service. Furthermore, it is EXPENSIVE! That’s why I personally only use Fedex office when I am in dire need to get something done quickly and professionally.

    Aside from that, I think it is a great brand and it offers so many solutions for so many different people. It would be safe to say it is a small business ‘one-stop shop’!

  2. Kimberlyn

    I think the whole idea behind FedEx Office is a very clever one. It is especially good for business professionals who might procrastinate and push deadlines. Of course, with that said, we have to remember that they are expensive, especially for the small business owner. I also think that renaming the company to draw the attention of potential users was pretty bright. They were just trying to reflect what they offer, and thought they could accomplish this by renaming the well-known store, to broaden the view to a wider audience.

  3. StefanieB

    I’m not someone who likes change when it comes to brands and brand names. I remember going to Kinko’s as a kid, always late at night with my mom or my oldest sister (who was in college at the time). I liked the name, Kinko’s, because it’s so weird and it held a certain importance in my mind of that place you go to late at night when everything else is closed and you have a project due in the morning. So with the name FedEx Office, I’m just not sure I’d go there. It’s TOO different, almost unrecognizable, like Rupert Everett post-plastic surgery (there was a picture on Perez Hilton’s website when we looked at it tonight…). Kinko’s holds a certain meaning for me, and FedEx holds a very different meaning. I also dislike corporate takeovers, so that kind of pushes me away. But I’m sure I’ll be going there next semester for my senior seminar project (assuming they still stay open late). Personally, I don’t see the need to drop the name of Kinko’s. It even sounds fun, FedEx-Kinko’s. FedEx Office sounds so…boring, and corporate.

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