Enjoyable recent WIRED article on Standard Life Aberdeen’s rebrand as ‘abrdn’.
“Wolff Olins global CEO Sairah Ashman stresses that the fund house “had already developed a name to work with” before her team was brought on board.”
‘stresses’ is priceless! (“You writing this down?”)
Peter Matthews from brand consultancy Nucleus came up with the pithy “It must have been a breeze to trade mark and register domains.”
Presumably abrdn CEO Stephen Bird was ultimately responsible for the ‘already developed’ name, which suggests a headline rather more to the point than the one used: Bird lays egg.
Stewart Steel, strategy director at agency Good says “in five days no one will care about the name”, but I think he’s wrong. I reckon this will hang round abrdn’s corporate neck like a rotting albatross corpse until someone – Bird’s successor, like as not – does the necessary.
All in all, an object lesson in Rebranding: How Not To do it.