I have to disagree. I think the "Wii" brand is very strong and very much a household name. In some ways it's actually stronger than "Nintendo." Divorcing its new console from the Wii brand would have been a big mistake for Nintendo.
However, Nintendo could have done something more pedestrian with the name, like Wii 2.
I've heard for the 10th+ time today from people that have the Wii (and aren't "gamers" at all) that the WiiU looks cool but they already have a tablet called iPad and Wii so there is no point of them getting WiiU. Its something that stuck with me as a major shortfall for Nintendo... If these "casuals" people who bought the Wii in masses can't tell that WiiU is a brand new console and offers new experiences, plays new games... and they think that the iPad + Wii do the same, I am not sure having this "Wii" branding was wise to begin with.
I also think Wii left a very sour taste in the ouths for core gamers who may have bought it as they were starved for quality software... So having "Wii" on the box isn't doing favors with either crowd.
Casuals: WiiU = ipad + Wii
Core gamers: WiiU = lack of software support
Only one of those is true for the WiiU.