Mark Zuckerberg I created Facebook in 2004. This was just a directory of Harvard students: The FaceBook. After 20 years, 90 acquisitions, and billions of dollars, Facebook has become a popular name. Now it wants something new.
Zuckerberg will announce the company’s new name at its annual Facebook Connect meeting next week, as The Verge first reported. This new name means to include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and other families, clarifying the company as a conglomerate with ambitions that go beyond social media. The Facebook app may be the cornerstone of the company, but Zuckerberg makes it very clear that the future of the company belongs to the Metaverse.
But what does the name include? In the case of Facebook, it involves strong relevance, some reputational damage, congressional scrutiny, and disapproval from the general public. Facebook’s name has led to a “lack of trust” in some of its recent efforts, including its extension to cryptocurrencies. By renaming the parent company, Facebook may give itself a chance to overcome it. It’s not the first time a corporate giant seeks goodwill with the new Monica. Cable companies always do that.
Still, branding experts, and Twitter branding amateurs, aren’t convinced that renaming a company can help fix reputation issues or stay away from recent scandals. ..
“Everyone knows what Facebook is,” says Jim Heininger, founder of Rebrand Expert, a company that focuses solely on rebranding organizations. “The most effective way to address Facebook’s recent brand-staining challenges is to take corrective action rather than renaming or installing a new brand architecture.”
Whistleblower Frances Haugen decided to rename Facebook with thousands of pages of internal documents The Wall Street JournalPublish the company without much consideration of the public interest. These documents have spurred a hearing at Capitol Hill, where Congress has already discussed for years the possibility of regulating Facebook and dismantling its conglomerate.
The new name may renew the company. But “renaming is not a rebranding,” said Anaezi Modu, Rebrand’s founder and CEO, who advises companies on brand transformation. Branding comes from the company’s mission, culture, and abilities, as well as the company’s name, logo, or marketing. “Unless Facebook has a serious plan to address at least some of its many issues, renaming doesn’t make sense. In fact, it can exacerbate the issue.” Changes can increase distrust if you move away from their reputation.
Modu says the renaming, like any other conglomerate, makes sense to clarify the organization of the company. When Google rebuilt in 2015, it named its parent company Alphabet, reflecting its growth to include many efforts (DeepMind, Waymo, Fitbit, Google X, etc.) as well as search engines (Google). I did. Most people still think of a company as Google, but the name Alphabet describes how the company works together.
Renaming Facebook doesn’t fix anything
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