What’s in a Name?

I renamed by blog today.  A lot of people have commented that “Yeah, Whatever” sounded too-much like a teen-age arguing with a parent.  Since this is a marketing blog, I figured I’d forgo the cool name and become a little more ‘on-brand’.

This got me thinking what’s in a name.  Specifically why do some companies decide to risk the brand equity of an established brand by changing it?    Here are a few examples:

Boston Chicken to Boston Market.  What is a Boston Market?  To this day I have no idea what to expect from a store with this name. 

KFC a.k.a. Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Whatever happened to “Finger Licking Good”?  I think KFC misses the point that their fried chicken is what made them popular.  Now they are offering a bucket of not fried chicken.  I’m thinking the next product is some sort of potato substitute with a tofu based gravy. 

New Coke – What was wrong with “old Coke”?  This is not so much an example of a name change as a needless tweaking of a product that had no problems to begin with.

Cingular is now ATT – Here’s a good idea, let’s take a brand known for service and innovation and replace it with the name of the company that people were switching away from.  I still write my AT & T checks to Cingular in protest of the name change.

Any established retailer to “Macy’s”.  I’m sure Macy’s would do better regionally if there were still a Jordan Marsh or Marshall Fields store down the road. 

Cleveland Browns to Baltimore Ravens.  So lamented, that the NFL not only granted a new franchise in Cleveland, they returned all the old trophies/awards back to the Browns.

Montreal Expos to the Washington Nationals.  Well no one misses the Expos and the Nationals have yet to excite the Majors, so I guess it’s even on this one.

Got other ideas?  Send along a comment.

Happy Marketing!



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