Gunmaking Company Undergoes Rebranding

February 19, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. rifle /ˈraɪ fəl/ (n.) – a gun with a long barrel and is fired from shoulder level
Example: The soldier used an M16 rifle during combat.

2. rebranding /rɪbrændɪŋ/ (n.) – a change in a company’s name, image, products, or services
Example: The company’s rebranding helped boost its sales.

3. counter- /ˈkaʊn tər/ (prefix) – being against something or being in opposition
Example: They were surprised with the enemies’ counterattack.

4. operation /ˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃən/ (n.) – an action done to accomplish a purpose
Example: The general planned the next military operation.

5. sanction /ˈsæŋk ʃən/ (n.) – an order or action given to a country as a penalty
Example: The United Nations imposed sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.


Read the text below.
The manufacturer of the known assault rifle AK-47 aims to promote peace in its recent rebranding campaign.

Russian corporation Kalashnikov, now called Kalashnikov Concern (CK), endorses its new slogan “Protecting Peace.” Its new logo shows “CK” in red and black print based on the flag colors of Udmurt [oo d-MOO RT] Republic, where the company’s main facility is located. The company reportedly paid more than $380,000 to a Russian public relations firm for the rebranding.

In its launching event, Kalashnikov Concern showed a promotional video that labeled AK-47 as a “weapon of peace.” The video featured Russian special forces using AK-47 during counterterrorism operations. The presentation ended with the quote, “Kalashnikov: promoting peace and calm.”

CK chief executive Alexei Krivoruchko [a-LEK-see kree-voh-ROOCH-ko] said AK-47 is a globally recognized symbol for Russia. He said that changes in the company’s production and direction will reflect in Kalashnikov’s rebranding effort. These changes include plans to add survival gear and knives in the company’s expertise.

Kalashnikov Concern, however, cannot do business yet in the United States because of a government sanction in March 2014 that penalizes Russia for participating in the conflict in Ukraine. With the loss of the US market, the company plans to focus on new markets including Asia, Africa, and South America.

A Russian weapon designer named Mikhail Kalashnikov developed AK-47 or Avtomat Kalashnikova in 1947. The rifle has been popular for its cheapness, ease of use, and reliability. Aside from AK-47, Kalashnikov Concern also makes hunting rifle called Baikal and sports rifle called Izhmash [iz-mash].

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the loss of the US market will affect Kalashnikov Concern’s sales?
·         How can the company’s rebranding help in changing the people’s perspective of guns? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think companies undergo rebranding? Kindly explain.
·         How does a change in brand name affect consumers?

February 19, 2015