The US economy,still under trial and tribulation, is looking to its mandarins of finance and economics to turn the corner on the mortgage crisis and overall crisis of confidence. Global and domestic confidence in the US dollar is approaching a new crisis point, and talk is in the air for reducing America’s credit rating. If the US economy was a company, what would we do? The answer some are vaunting is a rebranding of the venerable U.S. currency.
That’s exactly what Richard Smith proposes on his blog that we do with our currency, which is almost universally lamented as being bland and, well, way too green,which, maybe-not-so-coincidentally, is not always, or universally considered a good color for marketing. The Dollar ReDe$ign project is dedicated to “bring[ing] about change for everyone. We want to rebrand the US Dollar, rebuild financial confidence and revive our failing economy.”
In much the same way the art market, especially the fine art market has taken to re-branding in a major way these past several years, and the results are positive for consumers as the products seem to offer better value while enhancing the aesthetic appeal through re-branding. Daler-Rowney has taken its System 3D acrylic paint and put it into plastic squeeze tubes of 150 ml. instead of traditional tubes of 200ml. The retail price has dropped from $11 to $6 retail and the quality seems to be identical. The display is much nicer and it looks like they have found a way to make heavy-bodied acrylic appear a bit more sexy to the customer.
A little higher up on the food chain is “Amsterdam Expert” from Canson-Talens. It was previously known as Rembrandt acrylic. To the best of my knowledge the Dutch Master had no idea what acrylic paint was, and evidently this kernal of wisdom was caught in an updraft to the president’s office and a major re-branding was done last year. It is now known as Amsterdam Expert Acrylic. However, the packaging was confused with Amsterdam Standard Acrylic which is a glorified student brand and the sales of the new expert line were below expectations. Canson then dropped regular Amsterdam in 75ml –after stores had loaded up on it– claiming it costs too much to jam it into the tubes, and now concentrate on only Expert in 75 ml size.
To boot, Canson gave an extra 50% off the cost price this late autumn and another 20% in Dec-Jan. All this means they are willing to suck back less profit to pay for the awful launch of the product, and for the consumer they are getting an awesome price on premium quality paint that was meant to go to war with Golden and Liquitex.