Nintendo
 
 

Accenture

Andersen Consulting

Initially criticised as one of the worst corporate name changes in history, Andersen Consulting (an extremely strong brand) became "Accenture" in 2001. The USD$100 million name change proved fortuitous soon after, when the word "Andersen" became synonymous with "accounting scandal".


Airtran Airways ValueJet Airlines

An Atlanta-based budget airline which boomed from 1993 until grounded in 1996 following a crash in the Everglades.


Altria Philip Morris

The tobacco industry giant changed the name of its holding company to Altria in 2001, to disassociate itself from the negative image of cigarettes.


Amoco Corporation Standard Oil Company (Indiana)

Famous for inventing the gasoline tanker truck and drive through gas stations.


AOL (America Online) Quantum Computer Services

Founded in 1985, and renamed America Online in October 1991. America Online soon became synonymous with "online service" and grew to become one of the world's largest Internet Service Providers. One of the highlights of the dot com boom/bust cycle was their ill-fated merger with Time Warner to create AOL Time Warner. Eventually in April 2006, America Online officially adopted its AOL abbreviation exclusively, and dropped "America Online".


AXA National Mutual

National Mutual rebranded using the name of its majority owner, the French insurance giant AXA in August 1999.


Bearing Point KPMG Consulting

In 2002, "Bearing Point" becomes the new global brand for KPMG Consulting and associated businesses, at an estimated cost of USD$45 million. KPMG had been formed in the late 80s from the merger of Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler.


Bluescope Steel BHP Steel

Following its demerger from BHP Billiton, the "Big Australian" changed its name from BHP Steel to "Bluescope Steel" in 2003.


Google BackRub

The world's #1 search engine was created in 1996 under the name "BackRub". Larry Page and Serge Brin's technology went on to revolutionise the search industry, renaming their business and technology "Google" in 1998.


Healthy Choice Diet Deluxe

An inspired re-branding decision if ever there was one.


IBM Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation

Renamed to International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924.


INT Media Group internet.com Corporation

On 29 May 2001, internet.com became the INT Media Group, "to more accurately reflect our current business model". Not to mention shaking off the burden of having "dot-com" in their corporate name.


KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken

The fast-food giant that Colonel Sanders created in 1956, changed its name in 1999. The three most popular theories as to why: (1) to remove the word "Fried" and create the perception of healthier food, (2) to remove the word "Chicken" under pressure from government food regulators, concerned about their livestock practices, and (3) to remove the word "Kentucky" because the debt-ridden Commonwealth of Kentucky trade-marked their name in 1990, and introduced significant licensing fees for companies wanting to use "its" name. You choose.


LG Lucky Chemical Industrial Corp
and
Lucky Goldstar

Korean consumer electronics manufacturer Lucky Goldstar shortened its name to "LG" in 1995 to create a corporate identity more suitable for an international marketplace. Famous for developing the first radio in Korea, early innovations in plastics, even a toothpaste that out-sold the US giant Colgate.


Linspire Lindows

Linux software developer "Lindows" finally succumbed in 2004 to mounting pressure from Microsoft, who complained their business name was too similar to Microsoft's "Windows" franchise.


McAfee Inc. Network Associates

When "McAfee Associates" and "Network General" merged in 1997, they took on the combined name "Network Associates International". However in mid-2004, after divesting a number of business units in order to concentrate on intrusion prevention, they reverted to their strongest brand name: McAfee.


Monster Worldwide TMP Worldwide

The recruitment firm TMP Worldwide adopted the name of its popular online jobs portal on the 1st of May 2003.


Nintendo Marafuku Company
and
Nintendo Playing Card Company

Created in 1889, the Marafuku Company changed its name to Nintendo Playing Card Company in 1951, long before the advent of the video games that would make them famous.


Nissan

Datsun

This name change took 3 years to complete and a reported USD$30 million.


Panasonic Matsushita Electric Corporation of America

On January 1st 2005, Japan-based Matsushita decided to adopt its most popular brand name as its new corporate name. "Panasonic" is to be gradually adopted globally, with the exclusion of the Japanese market where Matsushita is the stronger brand due to its links to the name of the founder: Konosuke Matsushita.


Pepsi-Cola Brad's Drink

In 1893, a young pharmacist from North Carolina called Caleb Bradham began experimenting with a variety of soft drink recipes. One of these, comprising carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, and cola nuts, bore his name: "Brad's Drink". In 1898, Brad's Drink was renamed "Pepsi-Cola", and what would become the world's most recognised "number 2" brand was born.


perezhilton.com

 

pagesixsixsix.com

Gossip blog covering all things celebrity, created by Perez Hilton.


SCO Group

 

Caldera International

In 2002 Caldera International adopted the name of their most popular product. The abbreviation SCO originally stood for "Santa Cruz Operation". In recent years SCO has isolated itself from the IT community by concentrating on intellectual property lawsuits instead of product development. So we expect another name change Real Soon Now.


SEGA Standard Entertainment Games (1940)
Service Games Company
(1951)

Created in 1940 by Korean war veteran David Rosen, who saw the popularity of coin-operated games on military bases in Japan. The name was abbreviated to "SEGA" in 1965 for exports to the USA.


Sony Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K.
(Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation)

Established in 1946, the company name was changed to Sony Corporation in 1958. Producers of Japan's first transistor radio in 1955, and the world's first transistor television in 1960.


Sprint United Telephone, Centel, Central Telephone, Carolina Telephone

One of the largest telecommunications businesses in the USA, consolidated various business names into "Sprint" in 1996.


Starbucks Corporation Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice
and
Il Giornale Coffee Company

Originally named after the coffee-loving first mate in Moby Dick, "Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice" was established in 1971. In 1987 the original company was bought outright by its spin-off "Il Giornale", but the stronger of the two brands was retained for the company name.


Telstra

 

Telecom

Australia's monopoly telecommunications carrier changed its name to "Telstra" for its international business in 1993, and followed suit for its domestic business in 1995.


World Wrestling Federation (WWF) World Wide Wrestling Federation

In 2000, the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc was sued in the UK by another WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), and had to change their name.


Yahoo Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web

Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo were PhD students at Stanford when they created what would become the world's #2 search engine and web directory. "Jerry's Guide" was soon renamed to Yahoo, which was an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".