There is no doubt that branding is important to commercial success. But if the brand is important, what sits underneath it is more so. In a political climate where image and spin are everything, it is easy to forget that a brand should reflect the values, structure and output of an organisation, not the other way around. It may be tempting to rebadge an organisation to give it a new lease of life, but if the fundamental business, its people and its way of doing things have not changed, papering over the cracks with a new name is unlikely to achieve much.
It will be interesting, then, to watch the two big brand stories of the month unfold: first, Consignia, which is reverting back to its original name, Royal Mail Group plc; and second, PwC Consulting, which has decided to call itself Monday.
Consignia's move back to its previous name is being described by the company's chairman, Allen Leighton, as a return to a "new" title that "reflects the greater concentration on our core commercial services". The addition of the word "Group" at the end may be new, but to claim that there is anything novel about the name "Royal Mail" is perhaps insensitive, considering the amount of money it will cost to revert to this name.
Monday, on the other hand, is completely new. According to PwC Consulting's dedicated website on the subject, it means "start fresh a new name be proud know what counts talk out loud enjoy the ride". The question is whether an organisation that trades on its heritage...