11.6.13

MEANINGLESS BRANDING.

University taglines are stupid.  As are contemporary corporate names.
Until 1988, Ameritas was insurance company Bankers Life of Nebraska. The name conjures oak-paneled board rooms and rock-solid finances. Then I suppose a consulting company made the company ashamed of itself, and you got Ameritas. I would buy a hamburger from an Ameritas but never life insurance.

You and I could name a hundred companies that threw away their heritages for meaningless names or collections of capital letters: KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), 3M (Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing), Exxon (Standard Oil), IHOP (International House of Pancakes), Altria (Philip Morris), UAL (United Air Lines and later Allegis), CN (Canadian National).

I question what they got for it. At the very least, a name should tell you what a company does or suggest a reason why you should trust it.
The post argues that BNSF Railway is not descriptive of the company's tradition or service area, in the way that Burlington Northern Railroad or Santa Fe or Atlantic and Pacific (you could look it up) are.

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