Buy.com is now Rakuten.com. From a strategic branding perspective, this brand roll-out is an enormous flop. As an avid customer of Buy.com, the original brand stood out as a user-friendly, warm and viable alternative to amazon.com for electronics.
Instead, the name change to its Japanese holdings corporate, Rakuten, comes with no humanizing brand story to explains the change. While the new site does feature a great people-video showing shiny happy Americans saying “we are Rakuten,” a quick link to the corporate site shows an austere focus on numbers, digits, and creates no emotional connection. Buy.com was a brand experience. Rakuten, what?