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Fri, Oct 21, 2016 09:14
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Comments on our Names Survey:

1.  A name change with no broom to sweep the old bureaucracy and culture out will not work
2.  The eventual net effect was motivating. The name change occurred because we were spun off from a very large, global entity to fend for ourselves.. Early stages of fear of failure and frustration of changing everyone to our new name, turned fairly quickly towards "we are much more nimble and able to meet our customer's needs more easily". Overall good make it on our own!!!
3.  Happened because of a takeover. The new company was far less competent than the old one and did not have pulp and paper (or even high intensity manufacturing) as its core business nor inculcated in its core values.
4.  Changed business cards and informed contacts of changes to company name.
5.  It has been over four years since the merger and only in the last 18 months has there been a strong emphasis to banish the previous names and aggressively promote the new branding. In fairness, this is because a lot of effort was needed to fix other, more fundamental problems.
6.  Been involved a few times. Sometimes it was positive; sometimes negative. Agree with Jim about killing off the old to establish the new. if it is not done, the old culture re-grows itself, to the detriment of the new company, and eventually, everyone involved.
7.  ... My company has been renamed twice. The first time increased my morale because the new name, logo and 'branding' were more professional and modern. The second time was the exact opposite: ugly graphics, awkward name and a generally amateurish and old-fashioned image (because it WAS done by an amateur, the company owner/president.
8.  Long-established identity was lost and there was a constant need, as a front-line salesperson, to explain to customers that "things were continuing as normal" and "changes were for the better" to customers when you were wondering yourself if you would keep your job and even who were your internal allies and resources.
9.  We went from being Black Clawson to Thermo Black Clawson. This gave everyone at Black Clawson a lift as we expected to become Thermo Electron or take the name of their much smaller equipment company. Black Clawson is one of those names that has been around forever, has a good reputation, and carries commercial weight. They name still exists as Kadant Black Clawson though I do not work there now.
10.  Westvaco was easier to write than West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. - and the company had no assets in the State of West Virginia.
11.  Was a big pain to have to make the name change with government agencies.
12.  We spent $ on researching names, logos etc. but it did not change anything in the company.
13.  Although it wasn't the name change so much as the new company, it was a very stressful time - not begin certain whether or not you'd be employed in the future. I'm glad it occurred a few decades ago; if it happened today, the stress level would be through the roof.
14.  I worked for S.D. Warren at a summer job while in college, then for S.D. Warren Division of Scott Paper after graduate school. We always felt much more allegiance to Warren than to Scott. They were managed as completely separate businesses, both of which were eventually sold or taken over by companies that were more focused and less diverse. Then I moved to Jefferson Smurfit before the merger with Stone Container. None of us understood the rationale for two head offices. Smurfit was always too clever financially for their own good: too much debt, and it finally caught up with them. I'm glad I sold most of my JSC stock when I retired.
15.  My previous company only made a small change by dropping acquired company portion. Now there were quite a few logo changes, which didn't always make sense. Major name changes seem to be more trouble than what they are worth. It is expensive and time consuming to change all paper products and data records for the company making the change and all others doing business with them. I don't think that the benefits outweigh the cost and loss of name recognition.
16. It was St Regis merger with Champion, and the Champion CEO - Andy Sigler - absolutely was, in Fortune and other surveys, the biggest p---- in the industry. Like a Packer and being traded to the Cowboys, although I'm sure there are better metaphors.
17.  I've been part of mergers a couple of times. You are exactly right - Get rid of the old names and do it quickly. I offered a shirt for shirt, jacket for jacket, hat for hat to switch old logo stuff for like products with the new company logo. Immediately change all signage, documents, etc. Gave full credit to the new owners for every positive thing that happened to the mill and workforce.
18.  It´s no matter what name there is on your business card it is your products and how you become effective both in production and marketing that depends.
19.  Union Bag & Camp Manufacturing merged back in the 50's to form Union Camp Corporation. That merger worked pretty darn well for 40+ years!
20. I have always been on the "side" of the company that did the purchasing - Georgia-Pacific and International Paper. However, when GP bought Fort James, the fiefdoms you discussed were still very much there, and at times it seemed as though we were the ones being bought.

Hi Jim:
I've been involved with two.
The original name of my company, dated about 1902, was the "Consolidated Water Power and Paper Company". This reflected the predecessor company: "Consolidated Water Power Company," which dated from 1804. We have a signed original carbon (remember carbon paper?) of the incorporation document. It was "Consolidated" because it represented the consolidation of water-power ownership of about 12 wing dam owners (none of which, at the time, were related to me!). The name persisted to about 1963. Water power had become a small (though still important) part of the total, so I convinced my boss to shorten to what became the proud name: "Consolidated Papers, Inc."
Now, to argue with you a little. Stora Enso paid a high premium for us. They did not realize that much of our value was the "good will" (both meanings) associated with our name in our market, so they did as you recommend: dropping the name immediately. To my mind, this destroyed part of what they bought. Admittedly, the printing paper market started its slide shortly after the purchase. But I've always felt that the $1,000,000,000 "good will" (tax meaning only) write off which they (we, I was on the board and the finance committee) took a couple of years later on the acquisition was partially due to the name being dropped.
George Mead
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin


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