We've come across it recently with Kinki Studio cables becoming Exact Express. We've seen Silent Power spin off iFi. Earlier we saw Kroma become Kroma Atelier and before that, Bakoon Int. turn into Enleum. Now the website exclusive-audio.jp shows product by Satri Circuit Laboratory with this byline: "Bacoon Products [elsewhere on the page referred to as Bakun – Ed.] will gradually change its logo and name to SCL for Satri Circuit Laboratory."

From Thiel to YG Acoustics, management behind company acquisitions viewed brand names as distinct assets not to be touched. They bought them with all the goodwill which established branding holds. Why change something that's withstood the test of time and which in consumer minds conjures up an instant image of a logo, a brand's unique standing and products, perhaps even a famous personage at the helm or a popular media ambassador? If you're the coffee brand that's sucessfully advertised itself as what George Clooney drinks, why bin that association? Just because Franco Serblin passed away doesn't mean that Sonus faber's current owners saw any need to expunge the connection or rebrand. History and DNA are valuable. As explained to me, for Kinki Studio to spin off a new brand for their growing cable product was predicated upon wishing to not limit appeal of these wires to current owners or dealers of Kinki electronics. Jay's Audio spinning off LHY was to divide more exotic high-end products like CD transports from more affordable everyman problem solvers aka accessories that are far more easily sold direct. In Kroma's case, a change in ownership necessitated new branding to satisfy prior parties yet a clear effort was made to secure continuity. From Kroma Audio to Kroma Atelier disrupts nothing. Bakoon International wanted their own identity from Bakoon (Japan) to avoid confusion particularly in Korea where both brands traded under virtually the same name. Why the original Bakoon now follows suit with their own name change based on their patented current-mode circuit is less clear. Perhaps it's to overcome lingering trademark conflicts in certain markets? Has anyone considered how anodyne of a name SCL is; or for that matter Exact Express or LHY?

Speculations over 'why' aren't germane to this feature. My bigger question is, what value lives in a name? How many years even decades does it take to become known and to recognizably stand for something? Mention Sonus faber and real walnut plus leather is an instant connotation which the brand still practices. How easily does carefully collected goodwill and its following transfer over to a new brand even if the people behind it remain the same? I'm not here to answer that. I'm just asking stupid questions to let you ruminate because we've got nothing better to do.

Does branding matter? Do you care whether your smartphone says Apple, Huawei, Samsung or Xiaomi as long as it has the features, specs and price you chased? Would you prefer a Cen.Grand DAC if it were called Seattle Sound because its owner had relocated his business from China to Washington state? One can spin out the core question into many different nooks and crannies to track how one responds intellectually or emotionally to varying scenarios. On a rainy day, might this be a useful exercise to flex some of our walnut matter? I'm told it goes rancid if it just sits there in its bony shell…