B2C Marketing Insider points out that Motley Fool has called 2011 The Year of the Spin-Off.
They note that Sara Lee is "doing it right" by keeping its core food business under the Sara Lee name and spinning the beverages into a new unnamed company.
This means that Sara Lee will stand for what we know it for: cakes, rolls, pastries and meats.
The brand name's equity will remain where it started, and its other interests will be renamed so as not to dilute the mother brand, which is that of a "simple bakery."
The beverage company will be pretty substantial, carrying brands like Douwe Egberts, Senseo and Pickwick. Beverages brought in $4.6 billion last year to the company, and these brands obviously deserve to be supported.
Sara Lee has been careful to keep the food brands apart as well. The rapid success of Ball Park brand hot dogs to, er, top dog, has been a case in point.
Sara Lee, according to Brandweek, is highly consumer-centric in the management of its brand names.
The Ball Park name gets the spotlight, because the target market of moms and teenage boys does not associate coffee cakes with hot dogs.
Sara Lee has learned that while its brand name is almost synonymous with success, too much of a good thing can be harmful.