What’s in a name?
According to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. But Shakespeare never worked on Madison Avenue, and he did not study branding.
Businesses have long understood the importance and financial value of brands. According to a 2012 study by the branding experts at Interbrand, COCA-COLA is worth about $78 billion (that’s billion with a “B”), followed closely by APPLE. Remember, we’re talking about only the brands, not the inventory, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other tangible “things” that stand behind those trademarks.
Businesses have also understood the occasional need for re-branding. When Philip Morris USA figured out that its tobacco products were tarnishing the reputation of its KRAFT and other non-tobacco lines, it changed its corporate name and logo to ALTRIA. When AIG realized that its acceptance of a federal bailout in 2008 was hurting its retirement and financial subsidiaries, it re-branded them as SAGEPOINT FINANCIAL and VALIC.
Social activists may consider themselves above the dull sublunary world of commerce, but in fact they are often its most apt students. Continue reading