Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Branding as a refocusing exercise: FICO

"March 10, 2009: In the interest of clarity and consistency, Fair Isaac Corporation today announced that it has officially adopted the brand FICO as its corporate identity." This corporate renaming qualifies both as adoption of initials, and elevation of a product brand to the corporate level.

What, or who, is a Fair Isaac? A nice guy, in the credit rating business? As a name, it scores at the top in "whimsical," if not positively cuddly. Turns out, however, that there were two guys, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac, who in 1956 founded "Fair, Isaac and Company" (whence the initials FICO). The comma got lost in 2003, when the legal name Fair Isaac Corporation was adopted. But "Simply removing the comma changed nothing," says Chief marketing Officer Laurent Pacalin; "journalists would still talk about Fair Isaac as 'the guy who did FICO'."

And what is a FICO? Fair Isaac's principal product is the "FICO Score," a credit worthiness number carried by virtually every American, and the leading measure of consumer credit risk in the U.S. It is a number thus central to both crisis and recovery.

This is what Tony Spaeth, Corporate Brand Matrix, had to say about the brand work that we did here at FICO! Read more here.

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