Kill off a perfectly functioning brand name
Once in a while, you get certain brands dying overnight because someone decided it was either too obsolete or not relevant enough. But in a world where branding is everything (ie. ACS is the ultimate education brand in SG), you risk losing more than you gain when you take away a familiar name from people. A brand represents many things, both emotional and historical. For example, I still remember Cherry Coke though its no longer sold here. Oh that sweet taste, which now lives on in Vanilla Coke. Here are some recent examples of brands that should not have disappeared….
1. Cisco is removing the Linksys brand from shelves
Four years after buying Linksys for US$500m to break into the home networking market, Cisco is now doing away with the brand for good. I do tech, so I know Cisco, but do you? I can hear the Netgear and D-Link folks rejoicing in the background.
2. Seiyu turns into BHG
I can’t remember why the Seiyu name had to go (loss of franchise?), but BHG is definitely not a good substitute. “Be here for good things” apparently, but who’s going to remember that? Could BHG be the initials of someone instead? Bee Hock Guan? In any case, it’s not something you remember easily. Everyone still calls the stores Seiyu, like how we used to call Plaza Singapura “Yaohan” long after the Jap name was taken away.
3. Dopod gets absorbed by HTC
I always thought the name Dopod was a little odd (okay, “odd” is an understatement from me) but from now on, their devices sold here are going to take the name of the original manufacturer HTC. Well, HTC stands for High-Tech Computer (not terribly original, but the Taiwanese always come up with names like Gigabyte, Kingston and so on). Dopod took a few years to build its branding in this region and all the effort has gone up in a puff.
4. CS = SCI = WKWSCI
Ahh, my beloved alma mater. We liked it a lot better when it was just School of Communications Studies, or CS for short. Then it turned into School of Communication and Information, and most recently, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Why not just The Wee Kim Wee Media College? We train media people right (who by the way, was listed recently by ST as being among the lowest paid across several industries)?
Obviously, I have no say in such things. Hopefully, the name change will mean better pay for future generations, and they’ll always be known as mass comm students anyway.
5. National Fire Council gets singed….
…and turns into the National Fire and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council. Tell me which average joe can remember the newfangled name? Then again, did you know of the NFC before this?
My ten faithful readers, do contribute some other examples if you have them.