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What’s in a name?

Friday, August 6th 2010, 11:11AM 2 Comments

by Philip Macalister

ANZ announced the new name for its ING business yesterday and it certainly had got readers commenting. If you haven’t caught up with things the new name is OnePath. The range of views on the name is quite diverse and some aren’t that complimentary (also I should disclose a few haven’t see the light of day either). I’ve always wondered about how these big corporates come up with new names. My wondering continues. Companies can get great at telling a story around how a name is developed and what it stands for. One of the best was actually Royal & SunAlliance when it became Asteron. They had this massive multi-city Australasian event where every venue tuned into the main event in Sydney (I think). They had all these images which explained the “emotions” behind the brand. It was a well told story, but now do I remember any of the images or see them around? Nope. Bridgecorp did the same thing. You may recall it had all these cute little images which were meant to symbolise important values? Clearly it didn’t work. It certainly didn’t work on the staff. At one conference their BDM Andy Harris got up in front of the audience and ended up with these cutesy images on the screen and even he didn’t know what they stood for! “Oh it’s some stuff marketing come up with,” he said (or words similar to that – probably a little more expressive). One of the curious things with Onepath is that many of the names we see these days are made up words. Fonterra, Zespri, Cervena etc I always thought at the time how naff these names are, but history shows they have become accepted and you don’t hear too much criticism. Onepath seems different as it is made up of two, common, words and has some meaning already. Hopefully when the company takes you down one path to riches and protection it is the right path! Likewise I always thought financial services companies and advisers had lots of paths for their clients and they had to tailor the journey for the client? But then again I wonder what’s in a name? I recall years ago going on a junket to Christchurch when Infratil was being launched. We checked out these assets the company owned and one night had a discussion about what the name meant. I recall Lloyd Morrison saying the name didn’t matter. It’s what the company does which counts.
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Comments from our readers

On 6 August 2010 at 2:40 pm Forthright said:
AJ's, ING, OnePath=OP doesn't have the same ring to it. The england rugby team has O2 on their jersey's and we know that means O wins in the last 2 games against the All Blacks. I hope OP doesn’t become to mean our path or zero performance. I recommend OPees, is being a bit cheeky.
On 6 August 2010 at 10:04 pm Michael Donovan said:
NAMES 'CAN' BE TERRIFIC MARKETING TOOLS ...
I remember in the mid 1980's when I met up with Doug (Somers)Edgar, and I agreed to join him in the launch of a new company,... a new NAME..!

We enjoyed many of those earlier years in the 80's and into the 90's building portfolios of "MONEY to MANAGE", and he proved (albeit suggested by many to be a bit of a "maverick")to be a master of "marketing".
Thankfully, my business with that company was sold nearly 10 years ago.

However,through the years, I had grown to quite like the... "NAME"... of it and had taken the opportunity in a 'visionary' sense to take formal legal ownership of the name (including the logo and branding associated).

The High Court ruled in my favour ....naturally,.. and Doug was ordered to change their name...nowhere near as good as the old NAME according to everyone.

Is it now nearing time to re-launch the NAME?
A few have even stated the obvious "why re-launch THAT name...it could be so negative??"
Why not join those who can see a 'positive' in a re-launch........... with a new theme?
Still to be called ..."MONEY MANAGERS" ??.....watch this space.
Yep...the ONEPATH name makes me think of being 'led up the garden path'....and only one option?

Interested?
Michael Donovan ('Google' ...Moneobiz)
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