Rebranding a company amid a crisis or as a way to signal a modification in focus has been a famous corporate strategy for years. But does it genuinely assist brands in resolving image challenges, or do users regard a name change as just eye candy?
Changing your business brand name is a major decision, so why do industry giants names like Google and Facebook do it? Why do startups change their name? Some outgrow their names as their business model develops; others may be trying to disaffect themselves from unfavourable publicity.
According to one expert, rebranding is frequently used to reflect cultural shifts in customer behaviour or perspectives, such as when Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC and dropped the “fried” as consumers sought healthier options. In other cases, brands rebrand themselves following mergers or acquisitions to signify a new direction or to separate themselves from bad publicity.
Here are 5 of the biggest brands name changes recently:
Facebook turns Meta
On October 29, 2021, Facebook announced changing its company name to Meta. The new name appears with a new logo, a blue M that looks sort of like an infinity (∞) symbol, and now that logo has replaced the iconic thumbs-up Like icon at the company’s global HQ in Menlo Park.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg declared the new name as he uncovered plans to create a “metaverse” – an online environment where people can play games, work and interact in a virtual atmosphere, often using VR headsets.
He said the current brand could not “probably symbolize everything that we’re doing now, let alone in the future” and required to change.
The word “meta” comes from the Greek term meaning “beyond”. To an outsider, a metaverse may look like an up-gradation of VR, but some people believe it could be the tomorrow of the internet.
WittyFeed evolved as Nukkad Shows with ‘Stage’
The founders told NBB about the merger and brand name change during an interview. “The fire in our hearts to produce sensible content for Bharat, gave birth to a new brand ‘STAGE’ in 2019. It is an OTT platform for India, where we serve premium and sensible content in the stand-up art form. Parallelly, we started working on a new content strategy for WittyFeed which in turn turned it into a video-first platform. We started serving informative content with an undertone of humour and satire through our fictional characters derived from the real world. The main aim was to cut the clutter and kill content boredom through each character’s quirkiness, conversational tone, and easy-to-understand language.”
Both STAGE and WittyFeed evolved into two different entities with the same goal – to produce premium and sensible content, talk to the viewer in a tone and language he can relate to, be fun yet useful.
Ola Store is now Ola Dash
Relaunched last year, it was so far called Ola Store. Ola is attempting to explore for the third time in this part. The ride-hailing company Ola has rebranded its expedited grocery delivery business Ola Dash to incorporate the element of speed into the name itself.
The ride-hailing company opened a standalone online grocery store in Bengaluru in July 2015, following the launch of a food delivery app in March of the same year. Between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., the company planned to use its cabs and drivers to deliver groceries.
It closed both division Ola Store and Ola Foods within nine months of launching, without elaborating.
Brand name Ola Dash is similar to the American fast delivery company DoorDash, which has a market capitalization of more than $39.94 billion. This comes only weeks after competitor Grofers renamed as Blinkit, implying that the company wants to deliver things in the blink of an eye.
Grofers now called BlinkIt
Online grocery delivery company Grofers, which promises its buyers quick delivery in just 10 minutes, has currently also changed its name to Blinkit amid growing competition in the fast commerce division.
“We learnt a lot as Grofers, and all our learnings, our team, and our infrastructure is being repurposed to pivot to something with staggering product-market fit – quick commerce. Today, we are surging ahead as a new company, and we have a new mission statement – “instant commerce indistinguishable from magic”. And we will no longer be doing this as Grofers – we will be doing it as Blinkit,” the founder told.
The rebranding occurs when most competitors accumulate funds to contend in the cash guzzling sector.
UrbanClap is Urban Company
Urban Company was established in November 2014. The brand’s main motive is to empower millions of professionals worldwide to fulfill services at home like never felt before. This innovative idea was brought up by three modern minds, Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Raghav Chandra, and Varun Khaitan. This was their second effort at starting a business.
The platform helps clients book professional home services such as beauty services and massage healing for both women and men, cleaning, painting, plumbing, machine repair, and many more. This Indian business has a presence in Singapore, the UAE, and Australia as well.
The founders know that it is important to have a globally acceptable brand. Urban Clap changed its name to Urban Company in January 2020.
He said in a statement, “From the neighbourhoods of Darling Harbour in Sydney to the condominiums of Gurgaon, Urban Company is a simple name with universal appeal. Our commitment to offering reliable and affordable services at home remains unchanged. This is enabled by working closely with our service partners, helping them with up-skilling, financing, insurance, product procurement, etc., transforming them into micro-service entrepreneurs.”
The main aim of rebranding is to improve the sub-brands under the same umbrella. The founders even intend to spread their services in other parts of India.