General Electric is one of the most popular makers of consumer appliances. Ovens, toasters, washing machines, you know the stuff. But they’re now preparing to sell off the appliance division of the company and concentrate on being a corporate conglomerate.
Here’s the problem, they’re selling the essential core of their brand. Can they call themselves General Electric if they don’t actually sell anything electric? Perhaps a name change is in order to symbolise the end of a long metamorphosis from the maker of electrical goods to a corporate and financial services company. (actually, they’ll still make jet engines, wind turbines, and other non-consumer grade technology) The obvious change is to simply become GE, with no reference ever to General Electric. Change the logo, re-design the brand, and go forward. It’s tough, but possible as we’ve seen with AIGA, for example. The other option is to pull a new name out of thin air. Altria comes to mind.
This will be interesting to watch. Will the GE brand survive without their flagship product line? IBM no longer make consumer-grade computers, having sold their laptop division to Lenovo. Frankly, I don’t think anyone respects IBM anymore, so I guess the answer is no.