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After Tronc: Here are 5 corporate rebranding disasters you probably forgot about

After Tronc: Here are 5 corporate rebranding disasters you probably forgot about
[Photo: blickpixel/Pixabay]

Ding dong, the Tronc is dead! Not the company, that is, but simply the word Tronc itself. According to a new report from the New York Post, anonymous sources say the company formerly known as Tribune Publishing is going back to its original name. This comes after years of public derision over the name Tronc.

Tronc, mind you, is not the only company that has suffered a miscalculated rebranding. Here is a surely non-exhaustive list of other corporate rebrands that didn’t go over as planned.

  • Qwikster: Do you remember Qwikster? I hardly do. It was, of course, the Netflix spinoff that tried to let the company offer two standalone services–DVD delivery and online streaming. This led to both confusion and ire by users who didn’t want to pay two different monthly prices to essentially the same company. And soon Netflix wised up and canceled Qwikster, which was smart because, y’know, nobody even watches DVDs anymore.
  • Blackwater, et al: Blackwater, for those who forget, was the private military company that killed Iraqi civilians. The way it avoided being associated with this reputation stain was by changing its name. First it became Xe and then it changed again to Academi. Neither of the names mean much, and both still seem to be running away from Blackwater’s less-than-stellar past.
  • Accenture: Though ancient history now, when Accenture changed its name to that from Andersen Consulting, it caused many heads to scratch. For one, the rebrand didn’t telegraph anything about the company. What exactly does the name Accenture mean? It seemed like corporate jargon (spoiler alert: it was!). Not only that, but the change was expensive–one estimate said the rebranding cost around $100 million.
  • The Hut: Pizza Hut once tried to change its name to “The Hut,” because who knows why. The company decided to quickly announce the rebrand, and as soon as the ridicule started rolling in it, apparently decided against it. Though short-lived, it’s still considered one of weirdest name changes.
  • Altria: Philip Morris, the company that made an entire nation addicted to cigarettes, decided to change its name in the hopes that people would forget how it made all its money. I don’t think it worked.

And now we can add Tronc to this list. Though some of these corporation names still remain, they are all generally considered corporate disasters. For now, the question remains for Tronc: Will going back to its original name alleviate any of its other problems? Probably not.

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