The brand formerly known as AIG

Over the past few days we’ve all been hearing about AIG dropping the AIG brand.  In fact I think this may be the first rebranding program to have been announced in a congressional hearing room. 

And the new brand to replace AIG?  AIU.

Conventional wisdom says that the AIG brand is tarnished beyond all recognition.  

What if conventional wisdom is wrong?  After all, the new name will always be tagged with, “Formerly known as AIG” 

Here are some reasons NOT to abandon the AIG brand:

1. The reputation will overshadow any rebranding.  Changing the name and logo won’t solve anything.

2. The cost of rebranding will become a lightening rod just like the bonuses.

3. What needs to be changed is the method of marketing that AIG uses, not their name.  After all, people do change their minds about brands.  Just as they change their minds about other people.  

4. If conventional wisdom is correct, then the new names should be as far away from AIG as possible.  AIU is a timid move.

My counsel to Mr. Liddy and the senior management at AIG?  Change your marketing.  Develop powerful metaphors to shift your reputation. But is not the time to change your brand.

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