February 2, 2000
Renaming Computer Power Group
On Monday morning, December 5, 1998, Peter James, CEO and Managing Director of Computer Power Group (CPG), a leader in the Australian IT education and services industry, was reflecting on the results of the recent Brand Visioning offsite – code named Project Horizon. He was satisfied with the future plan they had created for the brand, including an articulation of the brand purpose and values, a clear statement of branding objectives, and a brand architecture that effectively unified brands in the portfolio (see Exhibits 1 & 2). James was relieved that the team decided that they should change the corporate name to Interim Technology, the name of the company’s new parent. Although it was not mandated, James believed this move was a good first step in establishing a positive relationship with his U.S. stakeholders. The work provided a strong platform on which to transition the company from a product centered group to a brand-centric organization focussed on advancing corporate performance and personal careers through leadership in IT education. There was only one more item on the “to do” list of the brand strategy project – setting brand names. The agreed-upon brand architecture called for descriptive sub-brand names within the Education and Services business units, as unified under a strong corporate umbrella. “Our marketing objective,” explained James, “is to create an inspiring and dominant corporate brand which encourages the best quality IT professionals to join and want to be part of Interim Technology. We want to move to an umbrella brand structure, within which are specified strong educational and services brands capable of meeting individual and corporate segment needs.” The Project Horizon visioning team decided they should start the naming exercise with the Education business unit, which provided the training and development of IT professionals that formed the cornerstone of the company’s purpose and mission. The Education unit included two core sub-businesses; each identified along customer segmentation lines. The first sub-unit provided educational services to individual consumers, and included the CPTI (Computer Power Technology Institute) brand. The second segment of the Educational unit served the corporate market, and included the MTE (Management Technology Education), CPAS (Computer Power Advanced Systems Institute) and Imageword brands. The off-site team agreed that after the names for the individual education and corporate education brands were confirmed, they could move to the Services business unit, which was marketed through business-to-business channels and was therefore, they believed, less critical from a branding perspective.
The Naming Meeting
Given their history and contributions to CPG profits, the branding of the individual and corporate education sub-units had generated impassioned discussions at the off-site visioning Research Associate Andrea C. Wojnicki prepared this case under the supervision of Professor Susan Fournier as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. Copyright © 2000 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of Harvard Business School. 1
Renaming Computer Power Group
meeting – discussions for which resolutions had yet to be reached. James was in favor of abandoning all of the existing individual and corporate education brand names, grouping them within each relevant...