The FT's Lucy Kellaway has to be one of the finest commentators on the absurdity of the corporate world. She alone makes the cost of an FT subscription worthwhile.
And this week she picks on the unfortunately rebranding of Siemans healthcare devision as...wait for it...Siemans Healthineers.
See what they did there - health and engineers - healthineers.
She highlights three golden rules of corporate comms.
1. Never have a corporate song (remember the E&Y recruitment song. For those who have forgotten, take a look - https://youtu.be/MaIq9o1H1yo
2. Resist portmanteau words - healthineer, innovalue, ideation
3. Claims to be one firm with one dream can make you look foolish. This is something professional services firms gravitate towards.
And of all Lucy's rules - no more corporate songs. Leave that to the kids.
Even so, it has set an example to companies everywhere of how silly you can look when you ignore three basic rules of corporate communication. The first says large companies must never turn to song. There is not a single example of a business putting its values to music without mass humiliation. There was the terrible rendition of U2’s “One” at Bank of America, in which a balding banker pretended to be Bono. Then there was the Ernst & Young recruitment song: “Oh happy day / when Ernst & Young / Showed me a better way,” featuring accountants swaying and clapping out of time. The second rule is to resist portmanteau names, in which respectable words — in this case health, engineers and pioneers — are cut up and glued together to create something monstrous.