“Reinvent yourself or die”. A very popular phrase that serves to represent the constant need to update to remain relevant and not fall into oblivion or worse, into disgrace . Sometimes, the reasons that lead to change are sociocultural, due to trends.
Others, however, seek a necessary facelift after a scandal, or several. This is precisely the case with Facebook, which, after a series of controversial leaks, is planning to change its corporate name and create a new parent company .
It will not be until October 28 when the new identity of the social network is known, with which it intends to lay the foundations for the future of the company. Until then, here is a compilation, compiled by CNBC’s Make It , of other companies that bet on changing their names and whether they reinvented themselves successfully or failed.
Apple used to have a surname: although more than one is no longer remembered, before 2007, the apple company was called Apple Computer . Coinciding with the launch of the first iPhone, Steve Jobs announced that the company would abandon its last name and would be called just Apple.
The decision was a success. In the last decade, Apple’s stock price has risen nearly 1,200% and the company’s valuation exceeds $ 2.4 trillion.
Google has already tried: Google’s first identity change dates back to 1998, when co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave it its current name (until then it was called BackRub).
The second facelift came in 2015 with the formation of its parent company Alphabet . According to the company, it was an attempt to move Google away from the image of a news search engine and link it to artificial intelligence, autonomous cars and investment in venture capital. In reality, Google was in a similar situation to the one Facebook is currently experiencing: it was being investigated for violation of antitrust laws.
Since then, the stock price has increased fivefold and the company is valued at $ 1.9 trillion . However, Google continues to be known by that name and its parent company still faces antitrust lawsuits in the United States.
Philip Morris and the cost of smoking: Philip Morris and other major tobacco companies reached a $ 200 billion settlement with the US government to pay for smoking-related healthcare costs in 1998. Shortly after, the maker of the iconic brand Marlboro cigarette store was renamed the Altria Group, in an attempt to move away from its symbolic image in the United States.
Along these lines, Philip Morris International made public this summer its intention to stop selling Malboro cigarettes in the United Kingdom by 2030 . The CEO of the tobacco company, Jacek Olczak, even asked the British Government to include cigarettes in the same category as internal combustion vehicles and ban them by 2030.
The name change did not have the desired effect: In the last five years, its share price has fallen more than 24% and its current market valuation is close to $ 90 billion.
“Healthy” Fried Chicken: While healthy living seems to be a current trend, it has been threatening the fast food industry for years. As early as 1991, Kentucky Fried Chicken removed “fried” from its name, in an attempt to cultivate a healthier image , and was renamed KFC.
A renovation that has brought enormous benefits to the company. Today, it is one of the largest fast food chains in the world. In addition, it owns Yum! Brands, which includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. In terms of annual revenue, last year they exceeded $ 26 billion .
A defeat turned into a victory: After being legally forced to change its name to the detriment of the conservation group World Wildlife Fund, the Worldwide Wrestling Foundation was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment.
A defeat that WWE has managed to take advantage of to reinvent itself and even record a record income of almost a billion dollars in the midst of the pandemic .