People with even just a slight interest in the business world are very familiar with the folksy wisdom and grandfatherly message of the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. And Berkshire Hathaway, his long-time investing company, is becoming a household name more and more each passing year. Yet, relatively speaking, the brand that is Berkshire Hathaway has stayed behind the scenes for the most part.
But the Financial Times have released a new report that highlights that things are starting to change. A range of acquisitions and existing Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries are beginning to rebrand, and the overall focus of the affiliation is all about Warren Buffett and the Berkshire Hathaway impeccable reputation. Consumers will soon increasingly think of Berkshire and Warren Buffett when they shop for cars, homes and even when they take a look at their utility bills.
Earlier in the month, Berkshire Hathaway made an announcement that it was going to buy Van Tuyl Group, an auto retailer that boasts being the fifth largest in the nation. This new acquisition is going to be named Berkshire Hathaway Automotive. This newest branch spans across 10 states and has 78 locations. And as we all know, this number is set to grow as time goes by. Warren Buffett, as you can imagine, has plans to purchase more dealerships and will add them to the Berkshire Hathaway brand in the future.
Meanwhile, Prudential Real Estate has already put over 1000 agencies under the brand known as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. In 2011, the two companies came up with a striking franchising deal. And in typical Warren Buffett fashion, the real estate arm of Berkshire Hathaway is also expanding, both internationally and in the United States. The company has further plans to pursue licensing deals in Asia and Europe, as well as other markets in America.
Berkshire Hathaway and its trademark might be visiting your home very soon, depending upon where you happen to live. PacifiCorp and MidAmerican Energy, two utility companies serving the Midwestern and Western markets, recently were renamed Berkshire Hathaway Energy and have the same logo.
Why is Buffett suddenly pushing so hard into the market? According to analysts, the Buffett celebrity has significant value. When monetized correctly, it can add additional business to the fold. “Like Virgin reflects Sir Richard Branson’s rebelliousness and Apple reflects the genius of Steve Jobs, Berkshire Hathaway has brand equity around trust, stability and integrity,” said Oscar Yuan, one of the partners at Millward, Brown Vermeer, as he explained to CNBC.
Ironically, many consumers are already attached to a number of the Berkshire Hathaway brands, although they might not realize it. Afterall, the company is the parent of such successful organizations as Benjamin Moore, Brooks running shoes, Fruit of the Loom, Geico, Heinz and Spalding, the sporting equipment company. And not only that, but the Berkshire catalogue extends to engagement rings, sweets and military apparel.
No matter what way you spin it, we’re all customers of Warren Buffett. All of a sudden, it seems that he finally wants us to know it.