As humans, we’ve come to know a lot of brand names, no matter how long one has existed on the Earth. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard — “big name” companies that stick in our minds.
But why do some companies change their names? Well, occasionally they don’t have a choice – they are absorbed into other companies. Think TechTV and Cingular. There was a time when they were acknowledged by their buyers, but soon they faded away from common usage. It is sad, yes, but it shows the economic progression of these companies. I’m not using progression in a positive light for both examples, however, as I despise the G4 Network, but that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, sometimes companies change their names to make a bigger impression on the public. Recently, there have been two companies that are making a big push for this: Pizza Hut and Radioshack. Pizza Hut, as they now offer quite a bit more than just simple pizza, wants to simply be known as “The Hut”. Hmm. Yes, I suppose a hut reminds me of an establishment that is large scale, and serves a variety of bread-based foods. Sure. Also, Radioshack wants to be just “The Shack”. Now, they haven’t changed their logo at all for this, but they’ve referenced just “THE SHACK” in odd colorations in recent commercials. This is probably due to the sharp decline in the use of radio technology. Then again, a shack reminds me of a loosely built, small storage area designed to hold odds and ends. So it makes perfect sense that a building like that should sell advanced computing equipment, right?
Part of the problem seems to be that these new names are rather vague. It takes away a little of what we could expect from the establishment. For instance, what if IHOP suddenly changed its name to just the “International House”? I’d be expecting an embassy of some sort. Or, even the (now defunct) Circuit City? The City could come off as an open social area with shady dealings in the background.
Yes, I’m picking on little things again, but really, these names are designed to appeal to the general public? I just think they’re trying to sound more expansive in the services they provide.
But, I can’t imagine someone saying, “Yeah, I’m gonna head over to the shack just as soon as I grab some lunch at the hut. Then I’m going to go back to the house in the city, to get some work done.”
Then again, give it a few years.
Let Hipper Sounding Brand Names Die
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