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2014-01-10    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


What does a century-old brand do when it grows out of the very business that inspired its name? After announcing in December 2013 that it would to shed $5 billion worth of its commodity chemical business, Dow Chemical will have to figure that out.

一个行业里百年的品牌到底有什么价值?2013年12月宣布裁减总值50亿美元商品化学品业务的陶氏化学公司(Dow Chemical)很快就会认清这个问题。

The company is focusing more resources on higher-value specialty materials products like semiconductor chips for cell phones and moving away from the lower-margin chlorine business. In turn, executives are considering ridding "chemical" from its title as well, according to a company spokesperson.


Chief executive Andrew Liveris told The Wall Street Journal that a potential name change would hopefully help position the company as one linked by "chemistry rather than chemicals" as it transforms.

公司首席执行官安德鲁•李佛利斯对《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)表示,更名能帮助公司实现从“化学品至化学工业”的定位转型。

But as corporations evolve their strategy, their brands can change too -- for better or for worse. And if history is any indication, an identity change followed by a title switch can cause a company more trouble than it's worth. Corporations spanning industries as diverse as technology to defense have all rebranded themselves only to the peril of their businesses. While some have successfully navigated the dangers of a new title, these instances prove to be the exception rather than the rule.


"As long as they keep Dow... as long as they don't change that name, the company will not suffer from dropping chemical from its name," said Deutsche Bank Equity Analyst David Begleiter.

“只要他们还坚持陶氏(Dow)的这个牌子……只要他们不改名字,公司就不会因为名字中少了‘化学’(Chemical)这个词而受损,”德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)证券分析师戴维•贝格雷特指出。

Read on to discover seven companies who found out firsthand how challenging a name change can be.

Research In Motion to BlackBerry (2013)

In January 2013, Research In Motion announced that it would change its name to BlackBerry after the widely known smartphone device. Executives made the announcement in tandem with its new mobile platform, BlackBerry 10, hoping that they could revitalize the declining brand. Despite the change, BlackBerry did not follow up with a significant change in strategy and the stock price continues to suffer as a result, said James Moorman, an analyst for S&P Capital IQ.

"The fact is that a name change doesn't matter when no one buys your new hardware. So in this case it was a bust," Wedge Partners Principal and Senior Research Analyst Brian Blair told Fortune.

continue to run stories that refer to the company by its old name.

2013年1月,行动研究公司(Research In Motion)对外宣布将根据它广为人知的智能手机品牌,更名为黑莓公司。公司管理层在推出新的手机平台、黑莓10(BlackBerry 10)的同时宣布了这项决定,希望藉此重振式微的品牌。S&P Capital IQ分析师詹姆斯•摩尔曼指出,尽管采取了上述变革措施,黑莓公司战略上并没有显著的变化,股价仍然不断下跌。

“事实上,公司更名并不会影响消费者的购买决定。本案中,公司上述策略实属败笔,” 市场调研公司Wedge Partners 高级责任研究分析师布莱恩•布莱尔对《财富》杂志这样表示。

Blackwater to Xe Services to Academi (2009, 2011)

A series of hazardous events forced the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater to change its name not once, but twice. In 2007, Blackwater guards were accused of manslaughter in connection with a shooting that killed more than dozen civilians in Iraq. Two years later, the company changed its name to Xe Services. After the company was sold in 2010 to a group of private investors, its title was changed once again to Academi. Then-chief executive Ted Wright told The Wall Street Journal that the second name change was an attempt to make the company more "boring."

"You're not going to see me in headlines," he added.

You might not see Smith in headlines anymore, but you do still see Blackwater. News organizations such as The New York Times and The Economist
黑水公司更名为Xe Services(2009年),随后更名为Academi(2011年)

官司缠身迫使安全承包公司黑水公司先后两次更名。2007年,因涉嫌屠杀十多名伊拉克平民,黑水公司保安人员遭起诉。两年后,这家公司更名为Xe Services。2010年它被一组私人投资者收购,再次更名,改成Academi。前任首席执行官泰德•莱特对《华尔街时报》表示,第二次更名是为了让公司听起来更“无聊”。


媒体头条上可能看不到创始人史密斯的消息。但是新闻机构,例如《纽约时报》(The New York Times)和《经济学人》(The Economist)依然坚持用黑水这个老名字来指代公司。

Apple Computer To Apple (2007)

Apple stands apart from its peers as one of the few examples of a successful name change. "We're going to make some history here today," former CEO Steve Jobs said in a speech in 2007. With that, he not only announced the first iPhone, but also said that the company was dropping the "computer" from its name. It would go on to be the company's most lucrative product.

Apple made the name switch because they in essence "saw the writing on the wall," said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. In 2007 computers comprised 42 percent of their revenue and now that number has dropped to just 13 percent, according to White.

" [A name change] sets the tone for a company as they evolve," White said. "You wouldn't make a change like that unless you were very confident in the strategy and where the company was headed."


坎托-菲茨杰拉德服务有限责任合伙公司(Cantor Fitzgerald)分析师布莱尔•怀特指出,苹果公司更名是因为看到了“财务报表中的数字”。怀特指出,2007年电脑占苹果公司销售收入的42%,而现在只占到13%。


Philip Morris to Altria (2003)

Cigarette maker Philip Morris Companies changed its name to Altria Group Inc. to ensure that consumers knew that they were "more than a tobacco company," a senior company executive told The New York Times in 2001. (At the time, the holding company was also the owner of Kraft Foods and the Miller Brewing Company.) However, critics felt the name change was a public relations move to distance the company from the hazardous product for which it became known.

"The name Philip Morris became synonymous with cancer sticks," Wedge Partners' Brian Blair said. "Did it change the product? No. It just helped erase some of the bad feelings associated with the prior brand."

香烟制造商菲利普莫里斯公司(Philip Morris)更名为奥驰亚集团(Altria)是希望消费者了解该公司“不仅仅是一家烟草公司”,2001年时这家公司的高级主管这样对《纽约时报》解释。【当时,菲利普莫里斯公司还拥有卡夫食品(Kraft Foods)和米勒酿酒公司(Miller Brewing Company)。】但是,批评意见认为,更名实际上是公关策略,目的是让公司与它久负盛名的有害产品拉开一段距离。

“菲利普莫里斯已经成了癌症标签的同义词,” Wedge Partners分析师布莱恩•布莱尔指出。“公司换产品了吗?没有。更名不过是为了消除以前品牌的坏印象。”

Andersen Consulting To Accenture (2001)

Andersen Consulting's evolution to Accenture was initially received poorly, but in the end proved to be a smart move. After the consulting business separated itself from the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, the company was forced to change its name. In 2001, many criticized the firm for making up a new word for its name; a senior manager from Norway came up with it by thinking of an "accent on the future." But having an eccentric title was fitting to the company's profile, said David Koning, a research analyst for the financial services firm Robert W. Baird.

"There are a lot of well-known words that probably weren't around 20 years ago, and they are now right at the heart of technology changes, just like Accenture wants to be," he added.

In 2002, Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstructing justice after destroying documents affiliated with the Enron scandal, tarnishing the name forever. (The conviction was overturned in 2005.) Andersen Consulting was a separate legal entity from Arthur Andersen, but Accenture's timely name changed allowed the firm to escape Andersen's "brand destruction," Koning added.

安盛咨询公司(Andersen Consulting)更名为埃森哲咨询公司(Accenture)最初反应不佳,但最终证明是一招好棋。随着安盛咨询公司从安达信会计事务所(Arthur Andersen)独立出来,公司不得不更名。2001年,仍有不少批评意见认为公司新名字是自己生搬硬套的,因为来自挪威的高级经理认为这个名字代表着“重视未来”(accent on the future)。金融服务公司罗伯特贝尔德公司(Robert W. Baird)的研究分析师戴维•科宁认为,这个稀奇古怪的名字倒是与公司情况很匹配。



BackRub to Google (1997)

It may surprise some to know that when Google first began, it wasn't even called Google. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin named their first search engine BackRub in 1996. A year later, BackRub became too large to operate on the Stanford University servers that hosted the website so they registered the domain name Google.com.

Google's ability to turn its title into a verb -- as in, "Google it" -- helped the company succeed tremendously, said search marketing consultant David Mihm.

"Had they stuck with BackRub, I can imagine "Oh, you should just 'Rub it" might have developed, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it," he added.


搜索引擎市场咨询师戴维•米姆表示,谷歌公司凭借自己的势力将名字变成一个动词——例如“让我们谷歌一下吧”(Google it)——帮助公司大获全胜。

他补充说:“如果他们还坚持用BackRub这个名字的话,我能想像出,大家现在会说‘哦,你只要“按摩一下”(Rub it)就好了’,但是效果恐怕不会有那么好。”

Datsun to Nissan (1981)

In the U.S., trucks made by the Japanese automaker now known as Nissan were marketed under the Nissan brand -- but small cars were branded as Datsun until 1981. After selling 20 million cars in 190 countries, the company made the difficult decision to drop the Datsun name (which originated in Japan almost a century ago, and comes from the Japanese word 'DAT' for lightning fast) from its U.S. operations to unify its global brand. The "controversial" move was highly criticized, given the importance of brand association in the car industry, said Bill Visnic, a senior editor for car research company Edmunds. The endeavor was also expensive and took roughly six years to complete.

"You see cars using the same name for decades and generations because it is critical to make it clear to people where the car came from," Visnic said.

Ironically, Nissan has decided to resurrect the brand and will unveil the "first new Datsun car for the 21st century" in 2014 in countries like India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. The company made the move because sub-brands are largely "in style" now and car companies are using them to promote vehicles they don't necessarily want to be associated with their original brand, Visnic said.




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