Branding counts. Apple (AAPL) could probably do well selling tea pots. Sharper Image is still around, but its brand is so tarnished that it could not give away many of the ultra-modern home utilities that it used to market at ridiculously high prices.
The New York Times reports that AIG (AIG) is back in the business of selling annuities to bank customers. The products used to be among AIG's most successful. The paper reports that, "People buying the annuities in bank branches may be surprised to know they are signing up with A.I.G. The contracts are being offered under the names of two subsidiaries, Western National Life and First SunAmerica."