Sun-AOL Alliance drops Netscape name

from the pure-stupidity dept

Jon Acheson writes PC World reported today that the Sun-AOL alliance that now owns Netscape will be dropping the Netscape name from all of their products in favor of “iPlanet.”
Am I the only one saying WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING?”
Hmm… well, it’s easy to make fun of marketing folks for being stupid, but in this case they just might be right. The claim is, of course, that Netscape is a negative brand in this case, so they’re going to start from scratch. I think that’s probably very silly. People know that Netscape was taken over, so at the very least, they could keep the name and do a “under new management” type of claim. To start from scratch, though, and build a new brand (and a stupid one like “iPlanet”) seems fairly ridiculous. Note, though, that the browser will still retain the name. It’s just the server products.

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Comments on “Sun-AOL Alliance drops Netscape name”

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Todd (profile) says:

No Subject Given

I’ve got to side with Jon on this one — they should at least transition into iPlanet (Netscape iPlanet Navigator), rather than drop a valuable brand completely. This is what the pooling method of accounting does to firms (lame accounting joke — with purchase accounting, you amortize the purchase price of a company as Goodwill over 30 years, and Goodwill is usually associated with brand value and other intangibles)

Todd (profile) says:

No Subject Given

I meant to say — they should transition the brand into all of their products. That would include the browser, which since it has the biggest reach, would help them establish the new brand sooner. Intel tried this, by the way, with Xeon — it is a “sub brand”, so Pentium III Xeon processor, as opposed to Celeron, which is a separate brand. It is hard to say whether that “worked” for them — when you spend $2B on branding and advertising, everything works. But I think the concept can work in introducing new brands to replace others.

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