The Bonnie Kate Syndrome
I used to know a woman named Bonnie Kate Bowman. Bonnie decided to change her name to Kate, and that was fine for the new people she met. But to me, she will always be Bonnie. More than 2,000 Sage partners attending the Sage Summit in National Harbor, MD, learned this week that their products are going to be rebranded so that they all carry the name "Sage," and many of those partners seemed to fear their customers who already use existing Sage products would experience the Bonnie Kate syndrome.
Furthermore, some partners I spoke with were not thrilled with the prospect of having to foot the bill for the related marketing costs associated with the rebrand. Sage North America CEO, Pascal Houillon, spoke to the assembed group and described the success of the model that Sage uses in other countries, where the Sage name applies to all products in the Sage family. While Sage is a household word in Europe, Peachtree, ACT!, Timberline, MAS, and others are the norm on this side of the pond. The rollout of the new brand is slated to begin in 2012. Time will tell if this will be a Kate success or a Bonnie debacle.
Gail Perry, editor-in-chief