UK corporate renaming boom

UK companies have introduced more new names this year than those in Canada, Germany and France combined, according to research from corporate identity group Enterprise IG.

A total of 120 public or large private companies in the UK changed name during the period from 1 January to 30 June. Only the far larger US, with a total of 1478, saw more rebranding.

Merger and acquisition activity was a key driver of renaming projects. “Fueling the urge to merge are three factors: Europeanisation, globalisation, and the Internet,” says Enterprise IG chairman of corporate brand Jim Johnson.

Some 54 per cent, or 1006, of companies in the survey changed name because of involvement in a merger or acquisition. “It shows design groups can learn a lot from the business pages,” says Design Council chief executive Andrew Summers. Financial institutions accounted for 35 per cent of the companies listed worldwide.

Outside the UK the Euro is also a factor, as European companies re-align their image in different markets, says the survey.

The US market is beginning to see a tapering off of the introduction of dotcom-related names, with some companies reverting to more traditional titles.

However, some 678, or 37 per cent, of companies changed their names without merger, acquisition or major external stimulus.

The research is a result of the company’s annual tabulation of US company name changes, which has been compiled for 31 years. The survey has been extended outside the US this year to reflect the increasingly worldwide outlook of large companies.

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