It Really Doesn’t Matter Citigroup is, yet again, rebranding itself.
By Tom Taulli
[This is excerpted from the article on MSNBC.COM]
I recently wrote a book review of the Real Deal, the autobiography of Sandy Weill. In building his financial empire, Weill changed the name of his company several times — always when he struck a transformative deal: Primerica (1988), Travelers (1995), and Citigroup (NYSE: C) when he merged with Citicorp. Perhaps there is now another name change in the offing: according to a report from The New York Times, Citigroup might become Citi. However, it is likely not to amount to much.
Citigroup spent about 14 months on the process and had the support of Landor Associates, which is a branding company and part of the WPP Group (Nasdaq: WPPGY). The plan calls for the elimination of the memorable red umbrella logo, which 137 years old and has lots of brand equity. But it does have issues — it is a sign of bad luck for certain countries in Asia. Besides, isn’t an umbrella a symbol of defensiveness? Doesn’t Citigroup want to show it can still grow?
I also interviewed Mark Stevens, the CEO of MSCO and author of Your Marketing Sucks. His opinion on the matter is straightforward: “It sucks. Why? A stupid waste of shareholders’ money. Is the new better than the old? Why don’t we just change Microsoft‘s name just for the hell of it.”
Read the whole article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16670755/