January 3, 2006
How to Lose the Name Game
Question: What is a sure way for a company that has just acquired a competitor with a beloved name to immediately raise the ire of customers, journalists, employees and pretty much everyone else?
Answer: Do away with that beloved name. People around the world like, no make that love, certain names and won't take a name change.
Case in point? A dispute between the two soon-to-be-merged Korean Chohung and Shinhan banks turned ugly, with workers threatening a walkout if the Chohung name is chucked. The union says if the Chohung name, which is steeped in a century of Korean financial history, is scrapped they will demand the resignation of the chairman and will ask customers to stop using the bank. All this despite Shinhan's studies indicating that people preferred the Shinhan name to Chohung's.
Another example of a company name change due to merging is Marshall Field's and Macy's. Federated Department Stores' market researchers last year advised them to replace the newly acquired Marshall Field's with the Macy's moniker. People are still reeling. One reporter noted that when the announcement was made last September, Chicago "reacted as if it had been ordered to start putting ketchup on its hot dogs."
The lesson learned is that companies who acquire others should rename with care. Tamper with certain names at your own risk.
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» Links du Jour 09-08-06 from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog
Nokia just announced the company will change its naming nomenclature, following Motorola's lead. Nokia is going to embrace brand names rather than alphanumeric naming in future cell phones after seeing the success of brand names developed by competitor... [Read More]
Tracked on November 15, 2006 7:36 PM