I've always been surprised by the way fast moving consumer goods marketeers juggle with brand names, packaging, line extensions and promotions to get some attention for their products. Although I prefer true innovation, line extensions and small improvements to a product are a good opportunity to talk (or better even, make people talk) about your brand.
But last week Danone really did it for me. I saw a TV commercial in which they announce a new name for their yogurt. So it's no longer yogurt but something else, god knows why. Unfortunately I don't remember the new name, which shouldn't be much of a surprise as TV commercial are not a very engaging medium. Especially if it's just another clip with dancing yogurt pots and logos jumping around. I checked the Danone Belgium site and in the "yogurts" category ordinary yogurt is not there (only Activia & Vitalinea), nothing about this new thingy.
But here comes the best part. On the pots of this "product formerly known as yogurt" there's a large call-out that says "UNCHANGED RECIPE". So basically Danone is investing money (packaging + TV commercial + ...) in a name change for yogurt, and it's extra difficult because part of the message is that NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
Tip for Danone: Don't change the name, spend the money on innovation in marketing. Not only products (which they do) but communication too.