- A company's name and brand should be consistent with each other and consistent with how its consumers view it: i.e. consistent with its marketing communications, products, and customer experiences.
- A strong brand name is no substitute for a compelling product.
- Less is more: A company and brand name should be short and to the point.
The best brands are built around mutually reinforcement. Marketing communications, product, customer experience all reinforce the brand. Recently some big names have changed their company names. Royal Philips Electronics is going to become Royal Philips. Research In Motion (RIM) became Blackberry. These 2 companies are good examples where the product brand IS the company brand in the consumers' mind, but the corporate name is inconsistent.
Philips is making the right move to remove "Electronics" from its name since it recently divested the consumer electronics business. But Philips should go even further. CEO Frans Van Houten in a recent statement about the proposed name change stated, “Philips is a diversified technology company focused on delivering meaningful innovation in healthcare, energy-efficient lighting and consumer health and well-being.” Notice the CEO of Philips itself referred to the company as Philips and not Royal Philips Electronics. This is because in people's minds, the brand is Philips. So why not change the company name to just Philips instead of Royal Philips? Philips can add sub-brands like Philips Healthcare, Philips Lighting, and Philips Well-Being.
RIM did it right changing its name to Blackberry, its well-known product, but the change probably came too late. Blackberry was always the much more well-known moniker, even becoming part of people's vernacular. At the end of the day, however, a company and brand name is no substitute for a compelling product. Even if RIM changed its name to Blackberry years ago, it would still have missed the smartphone revolution, despite having a front row seat.
- "RIM changes name to BlackBerry, unveils 2 phones", the Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2013. http://online.wsj.com/article/APcf657d7bad8340c38efa06b77283db0c.html
- "When it comes to branding, Why Philips plans to drop 'Electronics' from its name", CampaignAsia February 26, 2013.
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