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January 14, 2009

Merrill Lynch Naming and Bull Logo Live to Fight Another Day

merrill_lynch_logo.gifThe Merrill Lynch name and its famous bull logo will live on despite the company now being owned by Bank of America.

The new corporate investment bank will be called Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Apparently, researchers went to 13 countries interviewing both current and potential customers to ensure that the name's equity was still strong.

The Bank of America's "Flagscape" logo will also be incorporated into the offering.

The bull logo has been around since 1974 and is hugely recognizable to customers, even in this bear market. One executive in charge of the naming process wisely said that "It would be fiscally irresponsible to try and rebrand Merrill Lynch."

Most other bank names that Bank of America has taken over have been abandoned, but the Merrill Lynch name is simply too powerful to just let go.

This is obviously a good move. Despite Merrill's recent financial failure, the name still means something to investors, and pretty much everyone even vaguely associated with finance knows that what was once Merrill Lynch is now part of Bank of America.

Renaming such a huge organization would cause problems with Merrill employees and former customers. Keeping the name offers both a feeling of security and continuity in tough times.

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Posted by William Lozito at January 14, 2009 9:30 AM
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1 Comment

Merrill Lynch is a classic corporate brand with tremendous brand equity associated with its name and “Bull” logo.

Prior to the meltdown in the 2008 CoreBrand Corporate Branding Index, Merrill Lynch’s brand equity was valued as over $4 billion dollars or 17.5% of its market cap. This compares with the $17 billion of Bank of America’s 12.6% of market cap. This is one indication that the Merrill Lynch “Bull” is a very strong brand and one that Bank of America would be wise to nurture.

Quite a few good brands have been merged out of existence in recent years that might be worthy of reviving for new bank launches or where the existing brands have been damaged. Available bank brands include: Irving Trust, Midlantic Bank, Core States, Continental Illinois, European American Bancorp. . For more bank brands register on

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