A recent survey in the press over the holidays (and yes, I cannot remember which paper so I don't have the link) showed that 60% of respondents could name Norwich Union as an insurance company, whilst only 2% could name Aviva, whilst when prompted with options, over 90% could name Norwich Union, with less that 20% naming Aviva.
This is the sort of brand awareness that companies like Coca Cola or Nescafe try to establish. Yet you wouldn't see them changing their brand name.
Yet Norwich Union, the brand, is to go, to be replaced in the UK by the name Aviva, the name they used in other parts of the world (including Australia where the "Norwich" brand is very highly recognised.
It's interesting that many companies which have a stunningly high name awareness using a local brand name (witness General Motors using Opel in Europe and Vauxhall in the UK or Lloyds TSB which used the National Bank brand in New Zealand) keep it, but Norwich Union seems completely oblivious to the fact that its good name means something in the UK and wants to toss it aside like they have so many of their UK workers.