Company Renaming Success Case Studies

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Successful Company Renaming Case Studies

There is debate among academics about whether changing a company's name is a beneficial strategy, with mixed results occurring in real life. However, the change of Justin.tv to Twitch and Clear Channel to iHeartRadio show that in some cases, a rename is exactly what a company needs to continue to grow.

JUSTIN.TV TO TWITCH


CLEAR CHANNEL TO IHEARTRADIO


ACADEMIC FINDINGS

  • Early research in the US "suggests that there is little effect associated with a name change, except for a small sample of Dot Com companies."
  • However, this earlier research may have been affected by being forced to focus on publicly-traded companies, which are required to publish their financials. A later study on insurance companies found a "significant and positive relation between name changes and subsequent growth in premiums."
  • Changing from a more cumbersome name to a "short, easy to pronounce" name typically results in "higher breadth of ownership, greater share turnover, lower transaction price impacts, and higher valuation ratios."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Per the project criteria, we limited our initial research to academic sources. Due to the long publication cycles associated with academic works, in which a paper published a decade ago may still be cited as current, and due to the historical nature of this request, we have set aside our standard practice of only citing sources published within the past two years. Even expanding our research to these earlier sources, however, we were stymied by a lack of proper research material in the public domain. That is, the abstracts were available, but they lacked sufficient detail to complete this project. However, we did glean some salient insights which we have highlighted in a separate section above.

Therefore, we turned to other sources. Our initial round of research found that quite a few famous companies initially had a different name than the one they carry today. However, the vast majority changed their names in their very early days, which would make the impact of the name change nearly impossible to gauge. In many other cases (as, famously, RIM renaming itself after its signature product, Blackberry), the rename failed to turn the brand around.














































Sources
Sources