Thanks to Crowdsourcing We Now Have the Baby Cakes
Why Big Branding Moves Are Tricky
After months of speculation and planning, the New Orleans Zephyrs are now the New Orleans Baby Cakes. To say that the new name has met a mixed bag of reaction is an understatement. While the crowd at Zephyr Stadium broke out with “Let’s Go Cakes” chants for the minor league baseball team, the reaction of the crowd-sourced name on social media has been less supportive.
Here are some the trending #babycakes tweets:
- Fletcher Mackel @FletcherWDSU
#BabyCakes The new name is atrocious, embarrassing and borderline insulting… But the logos are kinda cool.
- Andy Garman @GarmanSports
Congratulations, Iowa Chops. You’re off the hook – no longer the worst team nickname in sports. #BabyCakes
- Bill Catalanello @billcat14
#babycakes With one chance to rebrand @zephyrs chose to mock & embarrass their fans. Pathetic.
And those are just a few. The team announced a few months ago that it would be changing its name and asked fans to submit ideas. Some of the other options were King Cakes, Owls, Po’boys, and Tailgators. But it was “Baby Cakes” that stole home for the team’s general manager.
Crowdsourcing is a gamble, leaving important aspects of your brand to the will of the masses, even your customers, is a potential minefield. Asking your clients or in the case of the Baby Cakes, your fans, to decide your identity can be like asking an artist to build an aircraft. It’s out of their expertise.
Crowdsourcing does have a place, knowing the general needs and wants of your clients should be part of your strategy as a whole. Guided crowdsourcing can have huge benefits, sparking conversations with your customers and learning from their experiences. Now, the Baby Cakes did only ask for suggestions; it was ultimately the team’s general manager that made the decision. For small business owners, something as large as rebranding of an entire business should include a team of marketing experts.
When it come to game changing brand decisions, sometimes it’s best to leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. Their experience alone can often help avoid mistakes before they ever happen. We’ll see if the name Baby Cakes goes from being ridiculed to revered, hopefully, team performance helps move the needle of public opinion.
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Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency with offices in New Orleans, Lafayette and Nashville. RUSSO uses consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. To learn more, visit brandrusso.com.