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".
An Atlanta-based budget airline which boomed from
1993 until grounded in 1996 following a crash in the
The tobacco industry giant changed the name of its
holding company to Altria in 2001, to disassociate itself from the
negative image of cigarettes.
||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".
National Mutual rebranded using the name of its majority owner, the French insurance giant AXA in August 1999.
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
Following its demerger from BHP Billiton, the "Big
Australian" changed its name from BHP Steel to "Bluescope Steel" in
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.
An inspired re-branding decision if ever there was one.
Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation
Renamed to International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924.
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
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.
||Lucky Chemical Industrial Corp
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.
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.
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.
The recruitment firm TMP Worldwide adopted the name of its popular
online jobs portal on the 1st of May 2003.
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.
This name change took 3 years to complete and a reported USD$30
||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.
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.
Gossip blog covering all things celebrity, created by Perez Hilton.
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.
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
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
United Telephone, Centel, Central Telephone,
One of the largest telecommunications businesses in
the USA, consolidated various business names into "Sprint" in
Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice
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.
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.
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".