A Marketing Question: Pdts/services That Changed Their Name For Great Success

i have a client who's changing the name of his product.

i'll be writing speeches about the name change, trying to enthuse

the sales force — who'll be suspicious.

i need fast, varied examples of marketing successes in which a

NAME CHANGE helped achieve much greater results.

i just saw "Ray", the wonderful movie about Ray Charles,

and learned that he'd changed his name from Ray Robinson

to Ray Charles.

i could use a couple more entertainment-related examples,

but what i could REALLY use, also, would be BUSINESS examples …

well-known products and services that had changed their names

as part of their eventual success.

i need FAST results. And i will tip

==> VERY <=====

generously for a SOLID/VARIED answer that also comes to me


fingers crossed ….

Clarification of Question bymikeginnyc-ga

examples could ALSO involve CHANGE in MARKET POSITIONING,

not just name.

One thought on “A Marketing Question: Pdts/services That Changed Their Name For Great Success

  1. Hello again Mike,

    ?Rebranding is undertaken when a company needs to update its identity

    in order to keep up with a changing market.?

    Examples of successful rebranding campaigns

    FedEx – formerly Federal Express

    Exxon – formerly Esso.

    ?Identity was changed to represent the company's many holdings and to

    incorporate the stronger "x" sound ?

    US Airways – formerly USAir

    ?As the company became a national and international carrier, studies

    showed the word "air" was associated with commuter airlines.?

    APollo 13 Popular Art: Research & Development




    ?In the early 1990s a company called Federal Express, which

    revolutionized the process and shipping habits of businesses and

    individuals, was then expanding into global markets. As the shipping

    firm looked to modernize its corporate brand, the brand owners

    realized that more than a cosmetic face-lift was needed for its

    dated-looking purple logo. The company set about completely

    overhauling the identity from the visual design to the corporate name

    to the names of everything that it offered ? from services to drop

    boxes to shipping containers, all of which totaled over 100 names.?

    (. . .)

    ?The company implemented a nomenclature system that relies solely upon

    the FedEx brand married with real English words to describe the

    operating company, product or service clearly. The result is services

    and products with names like FedEx Freight, FedEx Box, and FedEx 2Day.

    The names still work a decade later.?

    The Brand Channel



    Valujet Becomes AirTran

    In May 1996 a Valujet aircraft crashed in the Everglades killing over

    100 passengers and crew and creating the worst kind of public

    relations disaster imaginable. Valujet was already under scrutiny due

    to a number of questionable incidents involving its planes and the

    low-cost airline was generally perceived to be a cheap, but dangerous

    carrier. A year later, Valujet shed its name and became AirTran. Since

    then the company has regained its foothold as a low-cost carrier and

    memories of the crash have faded in the public marketplace. But

    Valujet's rebranding was more than just a name change, it was an

    attitude adjustment.

    Voicestream Becomes T-Mobile

    ?Wireless carrier Voicestream had a problem; the buzz on the company

    was that it's low prices went hand-in-hand with bad reception, dropped

    calls and bad customer service. Voicestream's ads were well-recognized

    thanks to pitchperson Jamie Lee Curtis, but the consumer buzz on the

    company was not good. After Deutsche Telekom bought Voicestream, a

    global rebranding strategy was incorporated at DT's wireless carrier.

    Voicestream was lucky.

    "The carrier's name was changed, with little fanfare, to T-Mobile and

    a new advertising campaign featuring Catherine Zeta Jones was


    (. . .)

    ?Voicestream's rebranding has been successful thus far and the

    company's ownership change allowed it to turn a corner. The T-Mobile

    brand, with a fresh Oscar winner hyping its product, has made most

    people forget that Voicestream ever existed."

    Marketing Newz



    Read a brief article about VoiceStream?s name change here:



    East Midlands Airport was changed to Nottingham East Midlands Airport

    According to an article posted at Serco.com the name change brought

    success for airport.


    ?The controversial decision to change the name of Nottingham East

    Midlands Airport has proved a resounding success, new figures suggest.

    Budget airline BMI baby reports that its passenger figures have risen

    by 25 per cent since the name change and local tourist group

    Experience Nottinghamshire has also seen a marked benefit to the local


    Both claim the decision to add Nottingham to the airport's title has

    helped attract tourists to the area by improving people's recognition

    of the airport.


    Both claim the decision to add Nottingham to the airport's title has

    helped attract tourists to the area by improving people's recognition

    of the airport.?




    Orange France

    Market share of growth rose to 51% in Q4 2001 following successful rebranding

    Orange France reinforced its market leadership, taking 48% of market

    share growth, adding 3.5 million net new customers, and building its

    customer base to 17.8 million, an increase of 25% on 2000.



    Here is a case study regarding a successful name change.

    ?Founded in 1979 as the National Corporate Cash Management Association

    (NCCMA), the association changed its name to Treasury Management

    Association in 1991 as its membership expanded from corporate cash

    management professionals to encompass both cash management and

    treasury professionals. To attract new members, diversify its revenue

    stream and help current members face their new roles within their

    organizations, TMA became Association for Financial Professionals

    (AFP) in October 1999.?

    – ?An 11.2 percent membership increase from 12,893 to 14,343 members

    – New revenue centers such as the Online Job Center in place and

    meeting budget projections

    – An increase from 10 to nearly 30 media registrations for the 1999 conference

    – Increased media exposure in key publications including The Wall Street Journal

    – Positive member feedback on new name, mission and services

    – A 32 percent increase in web hits month over month since inception.?

    Read the full text here:



    Celebrity Name Changes


    Not all celebrities are born with the perfect show biz name. Some

    names are too long, some sound silly, and some just lack that certain

    Hollywood pizzazz.

    Tom Cruise

    Cruise is a pretty smooth-sounding last name, but Tom Cruise's birth

    name was Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

    Actress Winona Ryder wasn't born with this last name. Her birth name

    is Winona Laura Horowitz.

    Demi Moore, was born Demetria Guynes.


    See more examples here:


    Here is an extensive list of real names of the celebrities


    Another large list of real names of celebrities


    And yet another huge list of the Real Names of Celebrities



    For further reading


    There is a wealth of informative articles about rebranding,

    repositioning and renaming at the following link.



    Additional information that may interest you


    After 30 years, Coke is planning to switch the name of Diet Sprite to

    Diet Sprite Zero.

    I did not find any information regarding the success of this name

    change; however I am providing a few paragraphs below for your


    ?Though the soft drink's formula will stay the same, the brand's look

    will change noticeably. Even if consumers sometimes don't like

    changes, Coke thinks it needs to do something to put more attention on

    Diet Sprite, a brand that has been given little emphasis over the


    "While Diet Sprite was doing well, we saw an opportunity to make it

    perform even better," said Melissa Fahs, a senior brand manager for

    Coca-Cola North America.

    ?The new name is meant to sound more contemporary. Coke's testing

    indicates it should help. The Sprite Zero name also has a bit of a

    track record, given that it is already in use in several international


    ?Coke is choosing a curious and creatively weak strategy to enliven

    sales of Diet Sprite by renaming the brand, Diet Sprite Zero.?


    Diet Sprite Zeros in on a New Name



    From the Pittsburgh Business Times:

    ?Successful rebranding should energize employees and give them a

    heightened sense of purpose of what the brand means for them as

    representatives of the company.

    ?Since a brand is, at heart, about being recognized, changing a brand

    is not to be done lightly. Organizations rebrand when they are rolling

    out something fundamentally different about what they offer, how they

    operate, or how they want to relate to and be seen by customers. You

    will often see organizations tweak their names or graphic identities,

    but maintain clear references to the past. In rare circumstances, they

    dump their brand equity altogether in an attempt to create a new


    American City Business Journals Inc.



    Search criteria:

    "changed its name " OR "name change" successful OR success

    rebranding examples successful

    successful rebranding campaigns

    successful rebranding

    "rebranding is" name change

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best regards,


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