The #1 Branding Mistake

ThePlanet & EV1Servers, two top dedicated server providers, recently announced a merger.

A little history might be handy.

EV1Servers used to be RackShack. They have a horrible record for customer service. They lose hard drives, lose entire servers. When you try to cancel, they refuse to cancel billing. They are possibly the most hated dedicated server company on the Internet.

A couple years ago, I had a dedicated server with RackShack, and after three weeks of working on it, RackShack informed us that they had inadvertently blocked the very IP’s they had issued to us. We cancelled the server in the face of this incompetence and moved elsewhere, yet RackShack refused to cancel billing for six months or so, maybe longer.

When I posted about it in the forum, their customer service manager and several staff members joined up to defend RackShack by insulting forum members. Yeah, pretty dumb. So we put up a RackShack / EV1 webpage, which ranked #1 for “RackShack” and “EV1 Servers” for quite some time. (That’ll teach ’em to mess with SEO’s 😉 )

So, RackShack / EV1 is pretty much evil.

ThePlanet, however, is like a cold beer on a hot day. They offer great servers and great support for fair prices, and their customer service is second only to ServerBeach. ThePlanet is one of the most highly regarded dedicated server companies on the Internet.

So, if I wanted to make a textbook branding mistake, what would it be?

*Thinking*

I got it! Merge the two! Voila, ThePlanet gets to share the hatred of EV1 Servers, without all the hassle of years of incompetence.

There’s a reason Toyota doesn’t put “Toyota” all over Lexus. Brand confusion, brand dilution, and in this case brand murder.

I used to have several servers at ThePlanet at a cost of several thousand dollars a month. Now I have none. And it’ll stay that way.

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