Safariland, a major player in the law enforcement market, and a maker of holsters and soft (concealable) body armor, recently bought a host of companies and associated brands that were owned by BAE Systems (formally British Aerospace). These purchased brands included some of the most revered in the law enforcement market: Monadnock (batons), Haitts (handcuffs), and so on. It wasn’t long before Safariland sent word to the industry that they were shooting all of these brands and re-branding all of the newly acquired companies’ products as “Safariland”.
Jaws dropped everywhere in this closely knit (but substantial) industry. Why would you kill off all the brand equity…that you had just paid for? Why would you make it so difficult and confusing for all of the law enforcement agencies’ purchasing decision makers (who are first and foremost cops and who don’t have the time or interest to follow the business side of their suppliers’ industry)? You have to understand that brands in the law enforcement market have a looooong shelf life; some (think of Smith & Wesson) have meant “quality” for over a century.
For that matter, why do banks always re-brand acquired banks (which had spent years building their trusted brand name in their communities)? There’s something going on here besides business sense.
It doesn’t make any sense. After all, you still buy Gatorade, not Pepsi Sport Drink. PepsiCo, you see, understands the value of brands.