Friday, July 12, 2013

WE Energies

A little hokey, I realize. His name is "Reddy Kilowatt."
Once upon a time, there was a company called "Wisconsin Electric Company." Then, it changed its name to "WE Energies."

I really shouldn't be as upset about this as I am, but I am. Perhaps most people seeing the original name would think "Oh, how quaint! They consider their Wisconsin identity something important." Or perhaps some might say, "An Electric Company? Reminds me of Monopoly."

Well, it reminds me of Monopoly too, which was invented at a time when there were no buzz words, no corporate-babble, no couching what you did in fancy obscure sounding names in order for you to trick people into thinking you were the most advanced. Back then, you have names like "Dodge Manufacturing Company" and "Bryant Electric Company."

I guess it's kind of a huge deal to have a company not just named for a person (Such as Allen-Bradley or Allis-Chalmers) but for a whole state. Wisconsin Electric is OUR electric company. It shows that our industry, as a state, is thriving. Wisconsinites have something to be proud of alongside our dairy farms and sausages. (An aside: I love cheese.)

But then, some big-shot who probably grew up in the 70s, moved to India, experimented with pot, became addle-brained and then went on to get a degree in business decided to change the name to "Wisconsin Energy Corporation," which makes it sound like they care more about getting money to fly their corporate jet than giving you an electrical system that works. Then, because this sounded lame, they cam up with "WE Energies" which is nothing else but the initials of Wisconsin Electric/Energy with the broader, less pin-downable word "Energies," which is either redundant or close to redundant. They might have thought "Oh, WE are working together to make Energies more available to the world," or something. But HE forgets one thing: When it was "Wisconsin Electric," the people of Wisconsin could truly say, "this is OUR company," whereas now, the only people who can claim it as their company are the owners, since the "WE" loses its symbolic all-encompassing meaning.

If I want someone to manufacture my motors, or install my electrical system, I don't want companies with names like "Advanced Technological Solutions" or "WE Energies." I want a name that connects me to the people doing it and that makes it clear what they are doing.

1 comment:

Robert Gotcher said...

You should have heard Charlie Sykes make fun of them when they changed the name.