1. Is Norwich Union AVIVing a laugh?
Insurance giant Norwich Union conjures up images of the countryside, smiling farmers and a safe, and very British, sort of financial organisation, particularly if you have never actually visited Norwich. Its new name, Aviva, conjures up nothing of the sort and sounds more like something a Mexican magician might say. It has made £10m disappear though, and that's one hell of a trick.
2. The Post Office
Do you even remember when the Post Office changed its name to Consignia back in 2001? Do you think that executives at the firm ever choose to recall the time either? We think not. The name change was widely reviled and, despite costing more than a couple of first class stamps, was consigned to the dustbin of history just a year later.
3. Tell us why you don't like Mondays
PricewaterhouseCoopers thought that it liked the idea of having 'Monday' as its name for a few days back in 2002. Not only did everyone find the idea of naming a company after the worst day of the week to be a terrible idea, but the web launch was scuppered by some web pranksters who managed to grab the co.uk version of the launch page and have A LOT of fun with it.
4. The rum affair of old Abford and Bingster
Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley and the Alliance & Leicester could have chosen a new brand made up of parts of all its other names, but Abford & Bingster sound like a couple of P G Wodehouse characters. Instead of that foppish-sounding pair, the firm has plumped for Santander, which doesn't make much sense either. But parents do get the last say on naming their offspring, we suppose.
5. The department of what?
The Department of Trade and Industry spent a considerable amount of time and money rebranding with a name so catchy that no one in the office could remember it. Ah yes, it was the Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry - a name that annoyed people because it no longer contained the word 'trade' and didn't exactly roll off the tongue. Worse than that, its abbreviation to DPEI made some people think of penises, and some pronounced it 'dippy', neither of which were good for the department's reputation.
6. Sign of the times
Prince, or the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, or Prince Rogers Nelson as his mum probably still calls him, has an odd symbol for a name. No one really fancied installing it on their keyboard so we'll let you picture it. Have you got something small, ridiculous, fussy and over-elaborate in your mind's eye? There you go, that's Prince. Now let's get back to the symbol.
7. Bing gone?
Is naming a search site after a sitcom character known for giving sarcastic answers really a wise idea? Microsoft thought so when it dropped Kumo for Bing when launching its new search site. We think it's great too! (Note the sarcastic use of the '!'.)
8. Snickers, Starburst and the death of childhood
Has renaming the above sweet treats had any real affect on their sales or consumption? We don't know. But the mere mention of the new names for Marathon and Opal Fruits has kept a lot of late night student conversations going, and going, and going - and then popping down to the late night garage. We won't mention Jif/Cif, as it's a cleaning product so most students probably won't have heard of it.
9. Does it still come from Kentucky?
Why did Kentucky Fried Chicken stop using its full name and switch to KFC in 1999? We don't know. But there's a lot of theories out there. We don't like the suggestion that it's because it doesn't actually 'fry' any 'chicken'. But there's no smoke without a deep fat fryer.
10. The future is V3.co.uk
And no list would be complete without our own rebranding from vnunet.com to V3.co.uk. Which, of course, will go as smoothly as everyone who has been paid to be involved in it tells us it will.
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