Ad Age released its list of “11 Worst Name Changes of 2018,” many of which were attempts to correct an original name that was poorly conceived. Other companies jumped on the “shorter is better” bandwagon, proving once again that character count is not the most important consideration for a brand name.
Among those on the list:
WW — Formerly Weight Watchers. They went from three syllables to six and adopted a name that’s two thirds of World Wide Web and World Wrestling Entertainment.
RTW Retailwinds — Formerly New York & Company. Is “RTW” an abbreviation for the one-word “Retailwinds?” Why is it used with the name? I’m confused.
M/H VCCP — Formerly Muhtayzik Hoffer, an agency that should know a thing or two about branding. Yes, the original name was problematic, but the shortened version—complete with the trendy slash—brings no meaning whatsoever to the brand.
VMLY&R — Formed by combining the former agency names of VML and Y&R. Yikes.
Ad Age had also included two names on its list that didn’t deserve to be on this Hall of Shame:
Tribune Publishing — After calling their Tribune Online Content unit “Tronc,” the media company ditched that silly name in favor of their rock-solid original brand. That’s a good call.
Capri Holdings — Michael Kors decided to rebrand after acquiring fashion powerhouses Jimmy Choo and Versace. The name “Capri” was selected because of the island’s three-rock formation, which was meant to symbolize the timeless stability of the three brands. Creating an evocative name was a good choice, so A for Effort on that. Problem is, the island’s trio of rock formations is not what it’s best known for. A brand’s connection to an evocative name should be obvious. This one, unfortunately, requires explanation.
Check out Trademark Bob’s take on this article, which gets into the hazards of adopting initials and acronyms as your brand name.