Let me start this piece by admitting right up front that I am not a marketer and I know nothing about the complex, nuanced decisions that go into branding anything, much less an entire television channel. That said, I can't get my head around the fact that the powers that be have decided to "rebrand" the popular preschool cable television channel formerly known as Noggin to Nick Jr. (Didn't they already have a Nick Jr. over at, well, the main Nick channel?)

I'm sure many hush hush marketing meetings were held and that tons of focus groups were convened before the corporate suits decided to go with this choice. That doesn't change the fact that it's a crummy choice for a few different reasons. Small children are nothing if not "brand loyal," though it feels pretty weird to even write something lik that. What I suppose I mean by that is they get to know a story or a character, and that story or character is set in stone as Story X or Character Y, and they will not be swayed from that notion, no matter what. Why should they be swayed?

Sure, many young kids will not even notice this particular instance of "rebranding." They will just "go with the flow" and not think another thing of it. Other children will notice it and perhaps be quite upset by it. And why shouldn't they be upset? This entity that they enjoy and have come to know under one name is now being called something else.

Which brings me to the new name choice. There is nothing inherently wrong with Nick (or with Nick Jr. for that matter.) But the channel Nick does "skew" older, as they say in marketing speak, more toward tweens. Noggin was just for little kids, and they knew it. It was their own little cable channel that they did not have to share with their big brothers and sisters. And when you're little, it's nice to have something that you can call your own.

I kind of hope that the television big wigs change their minds on this one and end up reverting back to the channel's old name. Branding shmranding! And I'm willing to bet that there are a fair number of children out there who agree with me. Perhaps this is just a little branding experiment and their long range plan is to return to calling the "new Nick Jr." Noggin, though I highly doubt it. These branders (or is that "rebranders?) seem pretty serious and no nonsense about what they do.