In the last decade of my exposure to US stock markets, I have seen a company’s ticker symbol change only when there are mergers and takeovers and subsequent consolidations. I have never seen a company rebranding itself in the financial markets, without actually going for a formal name change. That unusual event happened with Sun this week. Starting Monday, the 27th, Sun’s ticker symbol changed from SUNW to JAVA. What it may suggest is the product/technology with 12 years of age has made a bigger brand name and identity when compared to its incubating company.
Where else did I see this phenomena outside the IT industry? During my childhood, I used to watch stage plays in the coastal India town of Palakollu. I observed that many of these stage play production houses used to have their most successful play (usually the very first one, which gets all the energies from everyone involved) as their banner name. So I used to ask this question: If their most successful play eventually became (after its success) their banner name, under which banner name they played that particular play? Note that those plays usually had a run of a few years before they are deemed successful. The answer typically is that they used to have a well thought about banner name, but their successful play eventually became their brand identity. Their initial banner name eventually used to limit itself to trivia questions. 🙂
But one thing I learned from the stage play industry. The show goes on and the actors deliver the same punch, even after the transition to the new brand. That rule holds good here too.
I am sure Sun will continue to deliver the software and hardware with the same passion and ever improving performance and quality, irrespective of the brand in the financial markets. The show goes on!