Brand equity cuts both ways. Sometimes it’s good, say Apple, and sometimes less so, say Enron. Take the coffee brand, Chock Full of Nuts. For most east of the Mississippi of a certain age they know this is a coffee brand. It wasn’t always that way. Originally Chock Full of Nuts was in the, take a wild guess, nut business. For whatever reason they got out of nuts and into coffee but stuck with the brand name. Maybe the CEO created it. Maybe the finance person said it will cost money to change it. Maybe a marketing genius said we have brand equity in the name; people know us, we’d have to start from scratch if we changed the brand name. All of this is true, but that doesn’t make it right. Chock Full of Nuts has to overcome this brand equity with every new prospect. They do it on their label, in their advertising, in their sales collateral. A name won’t make or break a great product or business model but putting a giant question mark between you and your consumer doesn’t make things easier. When your mission or value prop is masked, obfuscated, and hidden by your name, it is time for a new one. Creating new brand equity is quicker, better, cheaper than changing it.