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给公司改名学问大:苹果黑莓天堂地狱

Caroline Fairchild 2013年12月11日

埃森哲、谷歌都是改名获得成功的例子,如今炙手可热的苹果也坐享改名红利多年,但RIM把自己改成黑莓后仍毫无起色。其中的差别在哪里?

    一个行业里百年的品牌到底有什么价值?2013年12月宣布裁减总值50亿美元商品化学品业务的陶氏化学公司(Dow Chemical)很快就会认清这个问题。

    这家公司目前更加关注高附加值的特殊材料产品,例如手机用的半导体芯片,并逐步退出了低利润空间的氯化学业务。根据公司发言人表态,公司高层正在考虑将“化学品”(Chemical)一词从公司名字中删去。

    公司首席执行官安德鲁•李佛利斯对《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)表示,更名能帮助公司实现从“化学品至化学工业”的定位转型。

    随着公司不断调整发展战略,它们的品牌也会发生变化—无论结果是好是坏。但就历史经验来说,公司身份变化带来的更名通常给公司带来的麻烦要大于好处。从技术到国防,各行各业都有公司更名的案例,不过都严重危及到公司业务。尽管个别公司最终成功走出了更名的阴影,但这些不过是例外,而非惯例。

    “只要他们还坚持陶氏(Dow)的这个牌子……只要他们不改名字,公司就不会因为名字中少了‘化学’(Chemical)这个词而受损,”德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)证券分析师戴维•贝格雷特指出。

    请大家继续往下阅读,看看更名给我们今天介绍的7家公司带来了怎样的挑战。

    What does a century-old brand do when it grows out of the very business that inspired its name? After announcing in December 2013 that it would to shed $5 billion worth of its commodity chemical business, Dow Chemical will have to figure that out.

    The company is focusing more resources on higher-value specialty materials products like semiconductor chips for cell phones and moving away from the lower-margin chlorine business. In turn, executives are considering ridding "chemical" from its title as well, according to a company spokesperson.

    Chief executive Andrew Liveris told The Wall Street Journal that a potential name change would hopefully help position the company as one linked by "chemistry rather than chemicals" as it transforms.

    But as corporations evolve their strategy, their brands can change too -- for better or for worse. And if history is any indication, an identity change followed by a title switch can cause a company more trouble than it's worth. Corporations spanning industries as diverse as technology to defense have all rebranded themselves only to the peril of their businesses. While some have successfully navigated the dangers of a new title, these instances prove to be the exception rather than the rule.

    "As long as they keep Dow... as long as they don't change that name, the company will not suffer from dropping chemical from its name," said Deutsche Bank Equity Analyst David Begleiter.

    Read on to discover seven companies who found out firsthand how challenging a name change can be.

RIM公司更名为黑莓(2013年)

    2013年1月,行动研究公司(Research In Motion)对外宣布将根据它广为人知的智能手机品牌,更名为黑莓公司。公司管理层在推出新的手机平台、黑莓10(BlackBerry 10)的同时宣布了这项决定,希望藉此重振式微的品牌。S&P Capital IQ分析师詹姆斯•摩尔曼指出,尽管采取了上述变革措施,黑莓公司战略上并没有显著的变化,股价仍然不断下跌。

    “事实上,公司更名并不会影响消费者的购买决定。本案中,公司上述策略实属败笔,” 市场调研公司Wedge Partners 高级责任研究分析师布莱恩•布莱尔对《财富》杂志这样表示。

Research In Motion to BlackBerry (2013)

    In January 2013, Research In Motion announced that it would change its name to BlackBerry after the widely known smartphone device. Executives made the announcement in tandem with its new mobile platform, BlackBerry 10, hoping that they could revitalize the declining brand. Despite the change, BlackBerry did not follow up with a significant change in strategy and the stock price continues to suffer as a result, said James Moorman, an analyst for S&P Capital IQ.

    "The fact is that a name change doesn't matter when no one buys your new hardware. So in this case it was a bust," Wedge Partners Principal and Senior Research Analyst Brian Blair told Fortune.

continue to run stories that refer to the company by its old name.

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