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January 25, 2006

Ameriprise to Pay the Price?

ameriprise2.pngThe philosophy of our blog is to accent the positive. It is very easy to take pot shots at what others are doing. Anybody can do that. Anybody can practice Schadenfreude.

I have, however, been bothered by the Ameriprise name, the new brand name for the spin-off of American Express Financial Advisors. Whenever I see the TV commercial or read the name, “prise” stands out. For me, it doesn’t convey enterprise, which is the root of “prise,” but it does suggest that I’m going to win some kind of prize in a contest or raffle.

What's more interesting is that if I were Ameriprise, I would worry about the many other companies that share the “Ameri” prefix. There are 2,598 federally-registered brands with that prefix in the category Ameriprise competes in.

ameriquest2.pngOne example is Ameriquest, the mortgage company that agreed this week to a for fraudulent business practice in 49 states. I think it is reasonable for one to assume that there is some confusion among the target market, that Ameriprise was involved with fraudulent business practices.

It is simply very risky to use a brand name that is close to another's that offers a similar service. If I had to guess, Ameriprise was selected more for internal considerations than marketplace considerations. We are all mature and seasoned enough to know that this happens.

Being based in Minneapolis as Ameriprise is, I am rooting for the success of a hometown company; it is just unfortunate that this new entity could not have started with a stronger, more distinctive name “from the eyes of the target market”.

Click on the following links to see what others are saying about Ameriprise:

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Posted by William Lozito at January 25, 2006 10:45 AM
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Don't you mean Schadenfreude?

I totally agree with you, the Ameriprise name is fatal; I am very surprise with that bad naming from AMEX. That Name overlapping with AMERIQUEST is so obvious.

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