Famous Business Name Changes

Can a name change affect the marketing, positioning and awareness of a business or product?  Here are some famous examples that illustrate the power of a name change:

Original Name

 

Present Name

Cosmair
  L’Oréal
Brad’s Drink
  Pepsi Cola
Backrub
Google
AuctionWeb
EBay
Bridge Gate Computers
Compaq (on insistence of Ben Rosen. one of first investors, NameLab was called in)
AT&T GIS
NCR (back to their original name)
Brad’s Drink
Pepsi Cola
i586
Pentium
Anderson Consulting
Accenture (name change required by “divorce” – in hindsight magic after Anderson Accounting’s scandals)
Price Waterhouse Coopers
Bearing Point
Oak (Software)and Green before that!
  Java
Tokyo Telecom. Engr. Corp.
Sony (when the product became more famous than the parent company)
World Communications
MCI (back to its original name)
Sound Around
Walkman
Cellular One (and others)
Cingular
Mosaic Systems
Netscape
Marafuku
Nintendo
Radar Oven
  Microwave
Salton Cooker
George Foreman’s lean mean fat reducing grilling machine.
Wards
  Circuit City
Active Touch
  Webex
DrivUrSelf
  Hertz Rent-A-Car
The Mining Co.
  About.com
International Harvester
  Navistar
Tricord
(and before that Pepsi)
  Yum! Brands (holding co. for KFC, Taco Bell, Round Table Pizza, A&W, Long John Silver, etc.)
Blue Ribbon Sports
  Nike
Stag Party
  Playboy
Firebird
  Firefox (browser)
FreeDiskSpace.com
  MySpace.com
Confinity
  Paypal
Peter’s Super Submarines
  SUBWAY
Sound of Music
  Best Buy
Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web
Yahoo
Il Giornale Coffee Company
Starbucks
Computing Tabulating Recording Company
International Business Machines – IBM
Datsun
Nissan
Quantum Computer Services
America Online
America Online
AOL
KW Transport
TNT Express
American Messenger Company
United Parcel Service (UPS)
dreft
Tide
Merchant’s Parcel Delivery
UPS United Parcel Service

 

See also Celebrity and Hollywood Name changes.

 

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