Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports Brand in the list of top sports brands.

Transfinder had a similar change. We were Forth & Associates. I changed the name to Transfinder when I became 100 percent owner of the company and I named it after our flagship product.

Our routing product today, called Routefinder, was called Transfinder back in the day. Some people still call the product Transfinder.

What do brands have in common?

They are trying to emit a certain emotion about a company’s product or service.

Like FedEx. Did you ever notice it has the forward-pointing arrow between the “E” and the “X” to show that it’s on the go, making deliveries? Has movement. Direction. You can trust them to get your package to the destination on time. It’s fast and dependable.

You want your brand to be identifiable and distinctive and recognizable.

Like the Marines. When you see the Marine emblem you can’t help but think “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” with the Marine Hymn playing in your head:

From the Halls of Montezuma,

To the Shores of Tripoli;

We fight our country’s battles,

In the air, on land, and sea.

The fact is, a brand is not a superficial thing. It is what you are known for or what you want to be known for. This includes your reputation, consistency, and reliability. What do people think when they think of you and your organization or department?

And it can take a long time to repair that brand once it’s been damaged. I’m sure a few come to mine. Even if these companies fixed whatever errors hurt them, it takes a long time for people to forget that breach of trust.