Soon, the 90,000 employees affected by the change will no longer say they work for “IBM” – perhaps one of the ever more classic, unambiguous corporate names – but also for “Candrill”, a portmanteau whose meaning and pronunciation are immediately apparent. Is not.
Somehow, explaining it makes it worse. We can infer that the pronunciation is “kin-drill” based on IBM’s stated logic, but vowels open the door to longer interpretation as reasonably arbitrary use of vowels: kin- Dryel?
Seeing the word does not provide many alternative uses, although it looks a bit scary “World of Warcraft” character
Goes by that name.
It certainly sounds like another corporate name that would join the pantone of a failing, or at least widely fake, brand. But an expert in the field says that we should not laugh too hard.
“It’s not easy to come up with new names,” said Bern Schmidt, professor of marketing at Columbia University and faculty director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership. “Many good names are already taken and protected by law.”
Over time, he said, even a name that consumers may find strange and accepted. He points out that Hagen-Dazes are purely made-up words that make no sense. And Verizon ()VZ)
– the name given to the company formed by the 2000 merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE – is a coined term that raises eyebrows at first, but has become an established brand that makes people think twice about what it is today.
Still, Corporate America’s history is subdued by questionable branding decisions – many of them instant flops – that have left customers scratching their heads. Here are some of the favorite doses compiled by CNN Business:
The name, given to Tribune Publishing in 2016, was an effort by a traditional media company To position yourself
As “a content curation and monetization company.” The name did not last longer than those buzzwords, and Tribune name returned
, To name taken
In 1998 by the once proud Woolworth Corp. as it tried to move from its struggling discount business into the athletic clothing retail sector. The name was removed in 2001 in favor of Foot Locker, then its largest series.
It is the name of a Verizon subsidiary formed in 2017 to own the assets of Yahoo (which it had just acquired) and AOL (which it had already owned). Name dropped in 2019
In favor of Verizon Media.
, A name that Came and went in only six months
, Not because the name was so bad, but because the much-hyped streaming service failed so quickly.
Then there are the corporate names that have survived, even if they are still not as famous as the company names they have replaced:
Name adopted by Tobacco veteran Philip Morris
In 2002 it sought to diversify.
Mondelez International ()MDLZ)
The name given to the snack food division, which Kraft Foods discontinued in 2012. Instead of using the name of any well-known brand such as Oreos, Ritz or Cadbury, Kraft cited Latin as an argument for coining the term. , Saying that “Monde” derives from the Latin word “world,” and that “Deleuze” was a fictional expression of “delicious”.
Name given to What was left of yahoo
After selling various parts in 2017.
Second rebranding effort by controversial military contractor Blackwater, which was rolled out of Iraq in 2007 Tried to name xe
In 2009, before turning to academies in 2011.
, a Newcomer to list
, A company formed by Fiat Chrysler and the French automaker PSA Group earlier this year (a relatively new name for the company making Peugeot itself). The word made is not known as any brand in its portfolio, but it avoids the inevitable political battles that result from choosing a brand name from both sides.
Some other names seem half as clever, such as News Corp ()NWSA)
News aggregator site Already knew
, or Strategy and
Name, the accounting and consulting giant PwC named Booz & Co. , When he bought that strategy consulting business in 2014. The name is ampersand distinctive, but it was widely mocked at the time.
Still other companies acknowledge their mistakes and return to their roots. US Steel changed its name USX
Returned when it acquired Marathon Oil Us steel ()X)
After this it once again split into two companies.
Federal Express was the original name of the delivery company that changed its name to its stock symbol, FDX
, As it tried to broaden its offerings, and then reverted to its popular surname, FedEx ()FDX)
Maybe that’s what will happen eventually Alphabet ()GOOG)
. Google Changed the name of its holding company
In 2015 to reflect the alphabet that it has exceeded its most well-known brand. But even though the alphabet is a real word, its popular adoption was made more difficult by how popular the term Google had already become.
“Google has become part of the language,” Schmidt said. “It’s so established, it makes sense why people would still use that name.”
In the end, the success or failure of the corporate name depends a lot on the success or failure of the company, Schmidt said. Google did not crush Bing because Google was a much better name than Bing. The actual product won in the market.
“It’s the product that ultimately decides the success of the brand,” he said. “The name is almost a decoration. If Google had failed, we are mocking that name.”