Sage Rebranding: My personal test

Much has been written on the announcement at Sage Summit 2011 regarding Sage’s decision to rebrand our products in an effort to increase the overall brand awareness for Sage here in North America.

I see the merits on all sides of the argument and do not intend to add anything that has not been discussed in other places. I do wish, however, to propose my personal acid test which, I believe, will be a reflection of the ultimate success (or failure) of this endeavor.

Last week, I traveled to Vancouver, BC to deliver the Sage Consulting Academy. After arrival I meandered through the line at Canadian Customs and Immigration and upon my arrival at the desk, the agent asked who my employer was. I replied, “Sage.”

“Sage? Who?” he asked.

“Accpac,” I restated.

“Next,” the agent called.

So, the test is simple. I know our rebranding efforts will be a success when I travel to Canada and am admitted expediently when replying, “Sage” to the question regarding my employer.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

8 thoughts on “Sage Rebranding: My personal test

  1. I must admit to a personal satisfaction that, of the three products deemed to have “awareness higher than that of Sage in North America” only one (the one I work with) is keeping it’s name according to these:
    http://www.sagenorthamerica.com/Newsroom/Toward-a-Strong-Sage-Brand
    http://www.sagenorthamerica.com/~/media/Category/SNA/Assets/Documents/Sage11-30475_ProductNaming_Grid.pdf

    But, for the other two, I really wonder how much confusion will be created by users searching for “Sage 50” … or add-on vendors marketing links, or on-line support giving advice suitable for one of the three

  2. Just one other thought, Ed … When I first read your article, I was surprised that a customs official would know AccPac – but then it was a significant Canadian success. Why would you expect them to know Sage, except as a foreign company that purchased a local icon?

    The only way I can see your test passing is if either Sage expends a huge amount in marketing to consumers who’ll never be a target; or if Sage staff start commuting on a daily basis between Canada and the US

    Next time you travel, say “Sage Software” … I’d be willing to bet they attribute that as a software firm and accept it as quickly.

  3. Mike, I will try Sage Software, but my point is that if we really want the name Sage to be a highly regarded brand in North America we will have to “expend a huge amount in marketing.”

    Nothing wrong with that, per se.

  4. Agreed … but spending enough so that any customs agent recognises it would be a reckless pandering to ego rather than good business practise. Eg: He’d likely recognise Facebook or Twitter, but probably not LinkedIN – despite LinkedIN’s recognition in it’s target of professionals.

    I guess the only advantage I see of the re-branding is that it forces all the OpCos to engage in marketing and tell the story. Glad Sage ACT! escaped, but I feel for the Sage50, Peachtree and Simply people … gonna need the web guys to work across regions – something Sage has a lot of problems with

    I just did a search in Google and Bing for Sage… with Google (not logged in), there was no Sage Software reference in the top 10. Other than the plant, many were small businesses.

  5. The Sage story is key to the strategy.

    My belief is that at one point Accpac was well-enough known for most customs agents to have heard of it, it is therefore our goal for the same thing to happen to Sage.

  6. Mike and Ed, when you discuss a customs agent knowing the name Accpac and not Sage at this point you have to understand that Accpac was born there. The Richmand office is 2 miles from the airport. Many of the third party developers are or where located in Vancouver. To Ed’s point, when the customs agent knows Sage or Sage Software the project is complete. 🙂

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