Sometimes an organization needs a name change. Whether there’s a merge, a split, or new direction, companies need to be strategic when deciding what name they’ll forever go by. Obviously, every company has a name, but many seem so impersonal. What is Fifth Third Bank?? Who is J.P. Morgan? I am always surrounded by some type of company name, but I never stop to ask “What’s in a name?”
Today I’ll explore the difference between what I think was a successful name change and an unsuccessful one between two companies within the same field – Accenture and Monday.
Accenture is a made up word. You can’t find it in the dictionary, you can’t use it as a verb, adjective, or noun (except proper), and you will never hear it in any other context than talking about the company itself. However, Accenture is a huge name in the consulting field.
Monday is not a made up word. It’s a day of the week and it’s even a bar in Madison. Basically, Monday can be heard in everyday context. Yet, Monday consulting, a split of PricewaterhouseCooper, was also a huge name in the field.
So why did that change to Accenture work so well? How can other companies copy the success of this name change? Here’s a boring backstory:
I am a daddy’s girl. Growing up, I would accompany my dad to Take Your Daughter to Work Day. For me this meant travelling to his office in Chicago at, wait for it…Accenture. Around the time of the name change, employees wanted to make sure the daughters understand what Accenture meant (Why they thought any young girl would listen to a boring demonstration is beyond me.) Needless-to-say, I zoned out. The one thing they engraved in my head was Accenture’s brand: “Accent on the Future.” At first I thought it was dumb, but then again, I was 11 and really just wanted to get out of there. Nowadays, I think it’s brilliant! Instead of having a boring name like Andersen Consulting (I’m sure you’re not boring, Arthur Andersen!), the company made a name that defines what the company’s mission is and then uses this mission to create a strong brand – looking towards the future.
Compare it to Monday and you can start to understand why it wasn’t as successful a change. It got made fun of by many groups, including people of CNN Money, and was in the middle of every one-liner, including this:“The day of the week formerly known as Monday would like to announce its name change to distance itself from PWC Consulting. Forthwith it will be known as Tuesday Eve.” Monday is a mundane word and it isn’t unique enough to spark consumer interest. Overall, I think Monday could have had a successful rebrand if it took a step back and really thought about what their mission/brand was. If they accomplished this, they may have had a fighting chance to success.