Chances are, if you grew up in the 1980's and 90's, you're well aware of the Yellow Pages. For those of you too young to remember a time when it took 10 minutes to log onto the internet; the Yellow Pages was a vast tome, delivered free to each household, which listed the phone numbers and addressed for all local businesses. Of course, in 2014, when it's easier to simply reach into our pockets when we wish to find local, national, or even international contact information, so what use would the Yellow Pages be to modern users? Enter the newly rechristened “YP.”
The rebranding has also been spearheaded by Allison Checchi, who was promoted to the role of chief marketing office of the 131-year old company earlier this year
The rebrand was created by vice-president of brand and advertising, Alec Kaminsky alongside Omnicom's brand consultancy Interbrand to create a fresh branding that would convey their message to its intended audience; the small business owners and their customers. The rebranding has also been spearheaded by Allison Checchi, who was promoted to the role of chief marketing office of the 131-year old company earlier this year to drive awareness of the new brand and its new strategy. That strategy is (of course) digital, and hopes to market YP as the go-to platform for local businesses in the US. The company, which employs around 4,000 staff in the US, appealed to Checchi because of its history, though she also admits to a certain amount of skepticism regarding joining a company that were deemed “Outdated” by the wider world. Apparently, a meeting with chief executive David Kranz was all it took for her to understand exactly what the new Yellow Pages could be.
Mybook from YP
Checchi says that for her, YP represents “The story of small business in America,” and explains how their staff of marketing consultants are actively helping Americans “Starting up a business or someone taking over a family business.” She believed this value was something nobody really knew about, and that they only ever saw The Yellow Pages as just a book. She said she saw they had “A lot of assets, even the consumer property which is digital” and “Over $1 billion in digital revenue” to work with and make something out of. Her challenge now, she feels, is to “Get out there and start telling the story of YP,” a process which began with campaigns in key US cities, but will expand into a national campaign next year as the company plans to drive use of the YP app.
“We're not trying to be the best search engine for all things search, we are just trying to be the best at local search discovery and get shit done” Allison Checchi
The idea behind the app is to draw people away from Google, and make YP the primary destination for people searching for local businesses. They intend to do this through intuitive design and unique features such as “Mybook,” which allows users to bookmark a businesses details, group them by city, and share them with other users. Checchi says they know they could never even hope to compete with Google, but that their niche is their greatest advantage. “We're not trying to be the best search engine for all things search,” she says, “We are just trying to be the best at local search discovery and get shit done.” Surely the words of a truly pragmatic woman with a big job ahead of her. It's worth mentioning, of course, that the Yellow Pages exists digitally in the UK under the shorter moniker “Yell,” which retains the classic “Walking fingers” logo.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician who dropped a copy of the yellow pages on his feet as a child. He learned a valuable lesson that day. Then forgot it the next.