The social networking giant Facebook recently changed its name, becoming Meta in October 2021.
Critics say that Facebook as a brand became toxic; which led to the name change.
However, it’s not the only business to rebrand.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained: “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.
“We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.
“And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
Facebook’s decision came after a lot of bad publicity over data sharing and allegations of withholding information.
Facebook isn’t the only one, and over recent decades, many of the world’s largest corporations have given up their name due to a public relations catastrophe.
Some of these businesses might not have been around if they didn’t decide to rebrand.
Old name: Qwikster
Year changed: 2011
In 2011, Netflix’s decision to increase its prices by 60 percent did not go down well with its customers.
To counter this, Netflix aimed to divide its streaming video service and its DVD mailing service into two.
Customers continued to complain, as they were now getting two bills instead of one.
The Qwikster decision lasted a couple of weeks.
In 2011, CEO Reed Hastings commented on the Qwikster project, “In hindsight, it’s hard to justify, Qwikster became the symbol of Netflix not listening.”
Hastings is still in charge 12 years on, so must have done a good job smoothing any issues that arose from the change.
Netflix is known as a media streaming service and it allows users to watch on-demand movies and TV shows.
Old name: Pete’s Super Submarines
Year changed: 1968
The fast-food chain known as Subway was established in 1965; however, back then, it was known as Pete’s Super Submarines.
There was no scandal, but the name was a bit clunky and was apparently mistaken for “pizza submarine”, which doesn’t make much sense.
The chain switched to what we all know it as today in 1968.
Old name: World Wrestling Federation
Year changed: 2002
While it’s hard to muddle the two things up, there were probably concerns within the World Wildlife Fund that it had the same initials as Vince McMahon’s controversial world of scripted fights and over-the-top characters.
A lawsuit from the wildlife charity was launched to make the wrestling company change its name over a trademark violation.
The charity won as it transpired the wrestling company had broken an agreement made in 1994 that it wouldn’t use the initials a lot.
The fact was the the company constantly referred to itself as WWF and all its shows had the branding, as well as most of its promotional material.
In 2002 what was once WWF changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and still bears the name now.
Old name: Weight Watchers
Year changed: 2018
Weight Watchers, a weight management assistance business, was in business for 55 years before changing its name to WW in 2018.
It changed due to a rebranding effort designed to keep the business in as cultural norms about weight loss started to change.
This seems to have worked as the business’ share price has increased by 25 percent in the last year.
Old name: Facebook
Year changed: 2021
Users still log in to Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, but the firm changed its corporate name to Meta Platforms, Inc.
The business said it changed its name to Meta to widen its digital commerce business and virtual reality technology, diverting its focus to the “metaverse.”
The significant rebrand came after loads of criticism after releasing thousands of documents saying Facebook knew its platforms damage teenage mental health but chose profit over protection.
Claims also said it failed to work against drug cartels and human traffickers using the site and also failed to stop notable users who posted damaging videos or conspiracy theories.