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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Goodbye Orange Ball, Hello Capital One 360

Capital One

The distinctive ING Direct orange ball is bouncing into oblivion.

Customers of the online bank, which was officially acquired in February by Capital One, were notified yesterday that as of this coming February, the bank will become Capital One 360.

Instead of the orange ball, the bank's identity will be represented by Capital One's red-and-blue logo, with the addition of a red ball enclosing the number “360” with a sideways chevron.

“ING DIRECT's new name come February will be Capital One 360,” the bank announced on its Facebook page. “New name, new logo, new colors and the same focus as always â€" You.”

As has been the case since the acquisition was first announced in 2011, many customers reacted with dismay on ING Direct 's Facebook page.

“Unlike!” said a woman identified on Facebook as Tammy Russell. She added a frowning emoticon with this comment: “I love that ING is orange â€" not boring conservative other bank colors!”

Also on Facebook, Maria Elena Villegas had this to say: “So, Capital One bought the rights to the orange ball only to destroy any brand recognition and customer loyalty amongst ING customers? If anything, they should have rolled everything over to look and feel and work as ING Direct works. This is an absolute waste of branding, customer loyalty, and potential goodwill or at least neutrality from current ING customers by Capital One. I feel sorry for the current ING employees, as this was, of course, totally Capital One's call. Does not bode well.”

Chad Burton pronounced the new name “lame.”

David Mejias went so far as to start a “save the orange ball” petition on Change.org.

An ING Direct spoke swoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a response to the posts, ING Direct responded on Facebook that the name change was a necessity: “Legally, we had to change our name, Saver. As for our colors, we have to be all color coordinated with our new family. We love Orange too, but we think red will look good on you.”

Since the acquisition closed, the bank has added new features, like tools to track savings in different accounts.

But the reaction is more evidence that customers remain skeptical about Capital One's insistence that the acquisition wasn't going to change ING Direct, known for higher-than-average interest rates and helpful customer service.

To help allay such concerns, the bank posted a “company pledge” on its new Web site and sent e-mails to customers that included e-mail contact information for Jim Kelly, head of direct banking for ING Direct, and John Witter, president of retail and direct banking at Capital O ne.

What do you think of the bank's new name and logo? Do they matter if the bank maintains its level of service?