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Golden Arches. A Bitten Apple. The Swoosh. These words conjure up corporate logos that immediately connect consumers to McDonalds, Apple, and Nike. The symbols embody the very essence of their brands, and all have achieved icon status, which allow the companies’ products to immediately transcend any and all language barriers.

So when Travelers lost its famous red umbrella to Citigroup three years ago after being bought and merged by St. Paul Companies to produce a new company named St. Paul Travelers, it was an immediate blow to the company’s cachet. No longer would consumers equate the hook-handled utilitarian logo with insurance protection, effectively erasing almost 135 years of marketing (according to Travelers, the umbrella first appeared as an illustration in an advertisement in 1870, but wasn’t adopted as an official logo until the late 1950s).

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