Jamba dropped the juice from its name. This might be why

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
June 17, 2019, 12:15 AM GMT+0

Jamba Juice is no more. In June, the smoothie company said it just wanted to be called just Jamba.

The company, which has 850 locations around the globe, says the rebrand is about more than just a name. It’s introducing new menu items, and says the change is more inclusive of its full menu and new suite of ingredients. It’s also remodeling some of its stores and updating its logos.

But much like last year when

Dunkin’ Donuts changed its name to just Dunkin’ there could be

more at play.

Not much has changed in the smoothie space over the last few years, according to YouGov’s Plan and Track data. Orange Julius and Jamba remain category leaders in terms of Impression, which measures whether people have an overall negative or positive opinion of a brand, Awareness, which measures whether people have heard of a brand, and Purchase Consideration, which measures if people would be open to making a purchase from a brand.

But neither of Orange Julius nor Jamba has seen much growth in these metrics over the last few years.

Other companies in the crowded smoothie space have seen improvements in these scores.
Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie have both seen modest increases in Awareness, Impression and Purchase Consideration, and both have seen modest increases in Quality scores as well.

Both Jamba and Orange Julius have seen a negative trend in Quality over the same span.
So it may be a case of Jamba feeling some pressure from downstream competitors, but they may be correcting for a cultural shift as well.

Fruit juice’s reputation has been in decline because the beverages often contain as much sugar as sodas or sports drinks. Too much sugar isn’t considered healthy, and could contribute to a host of chronic illnesses.

Jamba customers care about this stuff. According to YouGov Plan and Track data, individuals who shop or have shopped at Jamba are more likely than the average American to say that they tend to choose healthy or diet versions of the products they enjoy.

So, the Jamba name change could serve a number of purposes for the smoothie company. It’s possible they could get a boost in Buzz and Word of Mouth because of the name change, similarly to how Dunkin’ saw an increase in people talking about its company during a name change.

The company also could get an added benefit of strengthening its brand message with current and former customers who may be less enthused about the idea of consuming sugary juices, and more apt to choose healthy products.