Name changes

15 Jul

Electrasol  is now called finish. Brinks Home Security is now Broadview.  My question is why? Why would two established brands change names?  And in this case, the new names are a whole lot more generic than the originals. Electrasol has a lot more stand-alone recognition than finish. Finish, after all, is a verb. It is not a name. Same with Brinks. Every one knows Brinks–why would you become Broadview? That is one of those meaningless marketing names that doesn’t really separate you from the crowd. It’s as if Hertz changed its name to Roadview.  Makes it less memorable.

Brand or company name changes should be few and far between. It is confusing and dilutes your brand/name recognition. Obviously, sometimes a personnel change makes it necessary, as in the band Crosby, Still, Nash and Young, which added/lost Young.  But when you have a time-honored name, such as Electrasol (or Cascade, its largest competitor) you make  it harder for the consumer who has been using your brand for years to find you if you change your name. And, I don’t think in this case “finish” is going to attract any younger/new consumers.

Perhaps you want to be “cooler” or more in step with the times. We know AT&T stands for Atlantic Telephone and Telegraph, but clearly, they had to lose the Atlantic and the telegraph parts if they wanted to be known as a national telephone company. So they used their initials. Same with KFC. They have not changed their name from Kentucky Fried Chicken but they wanted to be known for more than fried food, so they use their initials instead.

Ownership changes bring about name changes as in the case of New England Telephone, which later became Nynex and now is Verizon.

In sum, some name changes are necessary and some are just gimmicky and maybe even plain stupid. In my eyes, finish and Broadview fall in this category.

What do you think?

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