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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 21:14 GMT 22:14 UK
What happened next Monday?
'Fresh thinking...'

Dear oh dear.

Just when you thought you'd heard enough from the corporate rebranding wizards, up crops another.

Not content to follow in the footsteps of such wonders as mmO2 - formerly BT Wireless - and Consignia, the company formerly known as the British Post Office, PricewaterhouseCoopers has pulled off the impossible.

It's come up with something even sillier: Monday.

That's right. Just Monday. Which could be confusing when both the location and the day of a meeting are identical.

Given the somewhat chequered history of rebranding exercises, you might have thought PwC could've been a little more cautious. To help them digest their decision, BBC News Online presents a few of the classics of the genre.

Consignia logo
New name: Consignia

Previously: The Post Office.

Justification: "It's got consign in it. It's got a link with insignia, so there is this kind of royalty-ish thing in the back of one's mind.

"And there's this lovely dictionary definition of consign which is 'to entrust to the care of'. That goes right back to sustaining trust, which was very, very important."

Also referred to by branding consultants as "modern, meaningful and entirely appropriate".

Effect: Universally reviled, buried under acres of hostile newsprint - and now under sentence of death. From 2004, the Royal Mail will once again be the Royal Mail.

Marconi logo
New name: Marconi

Previously: GEC

Justification: The company's management wanted to make a break with a staid past as a defence contractor. To prepare the company for a bright new future as a go-ahead telecoms vendor, they chose a name redolent with communications history: that of one of the earliest pioneers of the field, Guillermo Marconi.

Status: Oops. The telecoms adventure saw billions in overspending on now-worthless acquisitions and a share price which tumbled from more than 12 down to mere pennies. The management responsible have since been booted. Hardly an unalloyed success.

For some companies, the name stays but the logo changes. Do they fare any better?

Sema logo
Name: Sema

Business: Software

Justification:"As a memorable and immediately recognisable symbol, our new logo links the Sema name with a striking abstract image representing a free flowing symbol.

"It can be read as the Sema spirit or flame sustained by our vital energy. It expresses the idea that Sema is a leader, ahead of the field in terms of innovation and forward thinking.

"The inclusion of our previous corporate colours indicates Sema's stability and the orange dot evokes our central place in the e-economy.

"The new logo also reflects Sema's lively, creative and innovative personality which not only sits comfortably in the high-tech world where we operate, but also more accurately reflects the reality of the company as a confederation of highly skilled people."

Status: Give me strength. Including the previous colours to show consistency? As if anybody's going to notice... and in any case it was all a bit of a waste of time. Four months later the software company was taken over by competitor Schlumberger, and all the hard work went to waste.

Acer logo
Name: Acer

Business: Computer manufacturing

Justification:"A breakaway from its competitors, the new identity sports a vivid green, representing life, growth, prosperity and resiliency; and reflecting Acer's goal to deliver fresh technology to everyone, everywhere.

"The uniquely styled letter 'e' and closely set italic type infer connectivity and accentuate Acer's focus on providing innovative e-solutions to its customers.

"The distinctive lower case and rounded font represents Acer's friendly accessibility and gives the impression of being in action."

Status: Surprisingly, Acer is not doing too badly. Not that the change of brand has made any noticeable difference.

3Com logo

Business: Telecoms hardware

Justification: "When you are hoping to create something new and important, you must have the courage to fully commit yourself and the entire business to the transformation.

"Only in that way will your brand promise be fulfilled, and only then will you achieve your business goals, including delivering greater shareholder value.

"Another aspect of communicating its new master brand is through 3Com's new logo and graphic system. The new logo employs three rings; two of which are linked and the third is floating free.

"The new logo has created a lot of buzz and curiosity and that's just what we had in mind. It is a symbol that people can readily interact with, not just look at."

Status: Again, 3Com seems to be doing OK. Not that all its employees will have agreed: not long after the multi-million dollar rebranding came 3,000 layoffs. But very pretty logo, nonetheless.

Incidentally, the company doesn't seem too keen to show off about the logo these days, a couple of years down the line.

A search for the press release announcing it on 3Com's website reveals the following message:

"This press release was accurate at the time it was issued but may not reflect 3Com's current strategy or product offering."

Really? Not quite so courageous about fully committing to buzz and curiosity these days? The people have a right to know...

The BBC's Duncan Bartlett
"PWC Consulting is changing its name to Monday at a cost of $110m"
See also:

10 Jun 02 | Business
28 Jan 00 | e-cyclopedia
05 Jan 04 | Business
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