Companies change names for a variety of reasons, but have you ever thought about what are the name changes that did nothing to help these companies? Companies change names primarily to reflect the changes in their business models, which are sometimes achieved through acquisitions. At other times, companies enter new lines of business on their own or close down underperforming divisions.
In many cases, a brand’s name can make or break it. Do you know that Netflix changed their name in one moment? Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world’s largest online video streaming company, which made a big snafu when it separated its primary DVD delivery business from its faster-growing online video delivery services. Do you know what was the name of their company for a not very long time? If we say, Altria Group Inc. do you know what is that company, and what is the current name of that company? Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), which is the U.S’ biggest cable and home internet provider was also involved in a name change disaster. In February 2010, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced that they are changing the name of the company. That was not a very good decision to make.
What is the reason why companies change their name sometimes, nobody knows? But experience has shown that changing the name of some company that is well known, is a bad idea. First of all, people don’t recognize that company. Especially when people gain trust in some product or in some company that is well known, they hardly change their mind and decide to use some qualified product or another operator. The companies are focusing more resources on higher-value specialty materials products like semiconductors for cell phones and moving away from the ground-margin chlorine business. But as corporations develop their strategy, their brands can change too, for better or for worse. And if history is any indication, an identity change followed by a title switch can cause a company more difficulty than it’s worth.
If you want to see what are the name changes that did nothing to help these companies, check Insider Monkey’s list of 5 Name Changes That Did Nothing To Help These Companies and find out more about this interesting topic.