Commercial: How brand might help to rescue Northern Rock
In case you were still unconvinced of the power that a brand can yield, consider this piece of evidence from Saturday's Lex column (subscription needed) on two of the competing bids for Northern Rock. Olivant, the private equity group run by ex-Abbey chief executibe Luqman Arnold, proposes to keep using the Rock name; Virgin doesn't. Lex writes:
Brand is the most important distinguishing factor. Central to both bids [Olivant and Virgin] is the rebuilding of deposits. If that fails, neither bid will end happily, and the government and debt holders, not to mention shareholders, will not see much of their money again. Virgin is not the great financial services brand it thinks it is. But will the public ever again give its money to a band called Northern Rock? Those who think the answer to that question is yes should back Olivant.