ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; What’s in a name?

Last week Countrywide revealed its intention to change its name to Countrywide Porter Novelli

Last week Countrywide revealed its intention to change its name to

Countrywide Porter Novelli

Keith Simpson Nexus Public Relations

‘A name is incredibly important. That’s why manufacturers spend millions

on developing brand names and accountants make them assets on balance

sheets. In PR, actual awareness of names among clients is very low. They

can usually name three or four at most. Any agency should make its brand

equity work as hard as possible. In the case of Countrywide, Porter

Novelli is distinctive and may help to improve awareness through its

intrigue value.’

Leslie Brend The Red Consultancy

‘A name in itself is meaningless. It’s what you do with it that matters.

For us, choosing Red wasn’t ‘job done.’ From day one we treated it as a

brand and were conscious of its values. We didn’t just want to be

‘Sproggett, Sproggett and Sproggett’ and saw colours as the way forward.

We felt we were a ‘red’ agency, more so than a blue or yellow one.’

Ken Deeks Arrow Public Relations

‘We chose our name because of the connotations of hitting the target,

straight to the point, getting to the heart of the matter etc. I believe

it is eminently sensible for companies to change their name if their

brand strengths change. A good example is National Breakdown which

became Green Flag prior to its pounds 4 million pound sponsorship with

the Football Association. It has achieved superb branding and the new

name has more positive connotations.’

Tom Blackett Interbrand

‘In a service industry, name is everything. When there’s no physical

product, satisfaction isn’t as tangible, rather it’s based on

impressions and feelings. So the company name is acting as a bond of

trust, a guarantee of quality.

A name is shorthand for reputation and any change must be handled

carefully if goodwill is to be maintained. In dropping a name there is a

danger of dropping customers.’

Janis Raven Bubble Publicity

‘It’s impossible to answer the phone at Bubble and sound bored. When we

started a friend in the City warned me that we’d never be taken

seriously, but our client list proves there was strategy in my madness.

As advisers offering others help to create and sustain the myth, we

should be more imaginative than our ad agency friends with their

proclivity for tacking on name after name as a means of promoting their

many talents.’

The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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