Magazine article Marketing

Could a Change of Name Boost the Morale of Consignia Staff? (Opinion)

Magazine article Marketing

Could a Change of Name Boost the Morale of Consignia Staff? (Opinion)

Article excerpt

"Gualtier Malde", sings Gilda in Rigoletto. "What's in a name?" asks Juliet. "Yes, I would like to change the name [Consignia]," says interim chairman of Consignia Allan Leighton, reported in the The Times. The first was the guise of a seducer and a Duke; the second refers to Romeo, who was to cause Juliet's suicide. Consignia is what we used to call the The Post Office.

Oh dear! You see, it is not just any name the chairman would like to change. It's a brand name of a critical public corporation. Incidentally, the headline on the article said, 'Chief wants to see the back of Consignia', which is not what he was quoted as saying in the article. Like and want do not mean the same thing.

A brand name is an arrangement of letters to produce a particular sound. Companies today have not only to think about brands and trademarks, but patent and web site protection.

The sheer difficulty of registering anything new has forced today's global corporations toward the made-up name: Zeneca, Diageo, and now Consignia. These names can be registered worldwide and to my knowledge do not mean unfortunate things in other languages.

Are they any worse than those brand names made up in years gone by: Asda, Tesco, Kodak, Nestle? Are they more or less exciting than those brand names now reduced to initials: BP, ICI, IBM and so on? For my part, I think not. These companies command respect and in many cases admiration. But an unfortunate example is Marconi. Once one of the magical names of electronics, it now has other connotations.

Why is this? We can agree it is not because of the names themselves. …

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