Green Mountain Brews Up a Name Change

The single-serve coffee brewer thinks it can come out smelling like a rose.

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:10PM

What's in a name? That which we call Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) by any other name would smell as rich and refreshing.

With apologies to Shakespeare, we note that the coffee maker wants to ask its shareholders for permission to change its name to Keurig Green Mountain, a decision that's so obvious it's a wonder it wasn't considered before now.

Although its coffee is pretty good, too, Green Mountain is arguably best known for its Keurig coffeemakers, and with the single-serve machines the overriding driver of its business, linking the two in the company name makes a ton of sense. Not so much if it wanted to call itself K-Cup Coffee Roaster, even though it derived 73% of its annual sales last year from the single-portion packs. The brew machines themselves comprised less than 19% of sales, but because they're synonymous with the coffee company, the move is a bit of genius, at least from a marketing standpoint.

Companies occasionally go through a similar ritual, but all too often something happens between the room where they threw all those cool-sounding ideas at the whiteboard and the labeling that comes out on the packaging. The old Kraft Foods went through the process and spewed out the awful-sounding Mondelez International, a mashup of the Latin word for "world" and "a fanciful expression of 'delicious.'"

Images

Indeed, Kraft's old parent itself went through a similar corporate rebranding process, changing its name to Altria from Philip Morris no doubt due to the close association with cigarettes, and probably liking the resemblance to the word "altruism." Others have offered bizarre name changes for no apparent reason that would have sent Don Draper running from the room screaming -- such as bebe rebranding its bebe sport stores to the unintelligible PH8 before eventually closing the chain altogether.

There are some companies, though, that could follow Green Mountain's lead here. Daimler, anyone? The company makes Mercedes; why not just go with that and not confuse everyone? After all, AMR finally saw the light -- though it took a merger with US Airways to do it -- and renamed itself American Airlines Group, while Research In Motion realized at last it was all about the BlackBerry -- until it no longer was.

In the end, it remains the business that's most important, not what you call it. The clumsily named Mondelez saw a 5% increase in organic sales last quarter while a streamlined bebe was down almost 3%, so who's laughing now?

Green Mountain, for its part, had 22% revenue growth in the fourth quarter and 16% for the full fiscal year. It's not likely someone will go out and buy a single-serve brewer simply because the company will be called Keurig Green Mountain, but every chance a company has to make it easier for a consumer to link to what it sells makes it that much easier to complete the sale.

And now every time someone mentions the company, they'll be reinforcing the brewer's name, which should make it come out smelling like a rose in the end.

The two words Bill Gates doesn't want you to hear
There are few things that Bill Gates fears. Cloud computing is one of them. It's a radical shift in technology that has early investors getting filthy rich, and we want you to join them. That's why we are highlighting three companies that could make investors like you rich. You've likely only heard of one of them, so be sure to click here to watch this shocking video presentation!

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers