Brand Association – Value, Credibility, Confidence, & Cost
Posted on January 3rd, 2011

Prof. Hudson McLean

Name Change in Sri Lanka is going a gaga!

When Ceylon became Sri Lanka to rhyme with Sri Lanka Fredom Party (SLFP), the citizens took the name and the SLFP to their heart. That was a great National Patriotic step.

Then Air Ceylon went into liquidation and SriLankan was flown as the National Carrier, which is synonymous with the host country. A useful Branding exercise, however limping in profitability.

Several National Corporations consequently changed their identity to Sri Lanka several decades ago and plodded well into the public acceptance.

However, establishing a successful Brand Identity takes substantial  investment into marketing in order to position itself in to market recognition, acceptance and to gain credibility.

I do hope the Ceylon Tea Board does not venture into changing Ceylon Tea into Sri Lankan Tea.  Ceylon Tea is a highly recognized Brand the world over, for its Quality, Flavour, Smell, Taste displaying the Golden Lion symbol. Change of Name will bot bring any kuudos except cost.

It will take ages to establish the Change of Name to “Sri Lanka(n) Tea”.
A compromise might be, “Ceylon Tea – a Product of Sri Lanka”.

Leave established Brand Names with “Ceylon” as is and enforce “A Product of Sri Lanka”, which will give useful support to both names.

Apart from building the Trust & Credibility, someone, somewhere is going to print a lot of Dollars with Advertising & PR Agencies, Merchandising/Promotions (promodising)  simply to introduce “the same wine in a different label or etiquette”.

Such a change of Brand Identity in major markets globally, will not leave too much change out of US$ 200-300 million during a five (5) year period. The cost of the exercise will be added on to the reselling price, which will be counter-productive.

And someone in the “Magic-Circle” stands to pocket a decent 5-10% in (marketing appropriation) commission, great presentations, wine, women and song!

Wonder who is behind this great money-spinning idea?

Like one reader in LankaWeb suggested, the name of the country should just be-;
“Republic of Sri Lanka” and drop all the minor decorative verbage.

My personal opinion is that it is preferable to maintain Bank of Ceylon, as an old established institution, not to confuse with Seylon Bank and other names in the banking sector.

Advertising & PR Agencies are licking their grubby little  fingers, waiting for the honey-pie to drop!

On the same note, “Brand Sri Lanka” – needs drastic and a dramatic improvement in Credibility and Trust!

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has an enormous Tiger by its Tail, running around a vast Banyan Tree of Corruption, Mismanagement, Waste, Lethargy. Due to his pressure of his Agenda, are the minions trying to make “Stone Soup” and take HE for a long ride?

President has won a major battle in Terrorism, but now the question is, “Can HE Win the War of Good Governance?”

The News of in Hong Kong might have a field day, as things go!

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5 Responses to “Brand Association – Value, Credibility, Confidence, & Cost”

  1. De Costa Says:

    At least he has started the perfect war strategy. Eliminate terrorist, no mercy to criminals, good roads;but now it is the time to strengthen law and order clean up with 2/3 majority..
    Corruption is a diffcult war which is tied to western style culture and politics when run bu Asians. Same thing in China – corruption in big style. Sri Lanka is not as bad as Indonesia and Malaysia. Must maintain current status as a minimum and gradually start elemination process which should start from solving political problem ( big viral decease) ) Sri Lanka, India , Pakistan , Bangaladesh and many other countries suffering from.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    There is no doubt that His Excellency is holding the tail of an enormous SINISTER TIGER by the tail. Much has been told in this Forum about Corruption, Waste, Fraud, Mis-management, Lethargy, down right Apathy, Grand Larceny etc. There is no one yet to catch the Bull by the Horns. In reality, it is unfair to put the ball into the Presidents Court, and expect him to clean up the Mahindean Stables by himself. The President, like King Augeus, has to detail someone like Hercules to do the Job. Many in this Forum has suggested that Gothabaya be the equivalent of Herculese. This should happen ASAP.

    It is my point of view that, metaphorically, Square Pegs have been appointed to round holes. These are the Minions, who are lost at Sea without a Compass. They do not know where to start, and which way they should steer. They have got their priorities so mixed up, they come up with some stupid ideas, like changing Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This is not a PRIORITY, but this the best they could come up with.

    As Professor Hudson has highlighted, these minions with idle minds are literally taking His Excellency for A RIDE, NO, but for many rides. Another Stupid Minion has come up with another GREAT IDEA. STOP young girls from wearing shorts skirts. This is the kind of progress they envisage to take the country forward.

    CEYLON TEA has become an established Brand Name. As a Marketing man, I think this move is disastrous to our TEA INDUSTRY. Likewise, changing the name of Bank of Ceylon, is a very unwise move, because it is synonymous with Brand concept, and is Internationally known. This name should be retained in the name of POSTERITY, AND HERITAGE. It should not be wiped out just like that, because some erratic minion suggested.

    The word Ceylon is known the world over. When I say to an American, Iam from Sri Lanka, they ask, where the hec is that. So, when I say, it was formerly know as Ceylon, they say Oh ! Ceylon, Ceylon, I know. Some qualify by adding, Ceylon Tea, Good Tea.

    ARE THESE THE COUNTRIES PRIORITIES AT BEST, THESE STUPID MINIONS CAN THINK OF.? HOW ABOUT PLANTING A 1000 acres of BREAD FRUIT, on a Commercial Venture. It can be the SECOND STAPLE FOOD of Sri Lankans. It is the staple food in Jamaica.

    Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to Sri Lanka Petroleum Corporation is understandable, because it is an internal issue, and has not much international clout.

    The President has said that anything can be done, if one has the will. His brother Gothabaya has concurred with this concept. SO IT WOULD BE UNDER ESTIMATION, OF PRESIDENTS RESOLVE, IF WE ASK HIM, can HE win the WAR OF GOOD GOVERNANCE ? Yes he can, Yes he can. It will be a SURGICAL WAR of MALIGNANT IMMORAL CHARACTERSECTOMY.

  3. douglas Says:

    Dear Prof. One correction. Air Ceylon was dissolved and immediately in 1979 the National Carrier was launched with the name AIR LANKA. This international airline made a very popular name brand together with its on- board and ground hospitality service. It made its services very popular and for that a huge amount of money was spent to gain that recognition. It also had a logo of ” MONARA” – Peacock., which was synonymous with “Dandu Monara” It won so many awards in the competing airline business. However, the political leadership made such a blunder by selling its stakes to Emirates and changed its name to “Srilankan Airlines”. How much money would have been sent to repaint the aricraft alone with a different logo and colours etc. This was yet another political bungling and show of idiosyncrasy.

    As Susantha Wijesinghe says, “Are these the priorities of a government immediately after winning a war on terror?”
    It looks that HE is encircled by a band of minions who have succeeded in espousing his”EGO”and make a living by sucking his blood. This is what happened to President Ranasinghe Premadasa too.

    I pray that it should not happen to HE Mahinda Rajapaksa. Fortunately he has one brother who is alive to these tactics and the whole country looks upto him to clean this mess. He has already started the cleaning operations and hope he will continue the good work and protect the brother. We need him too, to lead the country.

  4. Wickrama Says:

    If I am not mistaken, the idea was to change the names of ORGANISATIONS and not necessarily their PRODUCTS. As such, “CEYLON TEA” could remain the same, while CEYLON TEA BOARD could change to SRI LANKA TEA BOARD.

    Mr. Susantha Wijesinghe’s claim that some Americans recognise Ceylon rather than Sri Lanka applies only to older generation. Obviously it take time for people to get used to new names -eg, Chennai instead of Madras, Zimbabwe instead of Rhodesia, Beijing instead of Peking.

    Incidentally “PEKING DUCK” did not change to “BEIGING DUCK”!

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    There is CULTURAL/IDENTITY value in the words SRI LANKA, whilst there is MARKET value in CEYLON for some products. Keep both in the right places for the right reasons.

    Some day in the future the word ‘Ceylon’ will be replaced by ‘Sri Lanka’ or ‘Lanka’ even for the Market products.

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