File this one under “physician, heal thyself.” On 20 October 2008, my employer Avenue A | Razorfish shortened our name to Razorfish.
As many people know, our agency resulted from the merger of Avenue A and Razorfish in 2004. I helped lead the effort to research the adoption of a new name. Our homework showed that we do not need to use two company names anymore. Clients understand that we operate as one agency with integrated capabilities. And frankly we were tired of the lengthy Avenue A | Razorfish name.
Although both Avenue A or Razorfish would work as standalone names, we decided on Razorfish because it has better awareness around the world, which is important as we build a global brand. To give you some perspective: in 2004, we employed 800 people in the United States. Now we have 2,200 people in 20 offices in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Indeed, the name change is global. In Australia, where were known as Amnesia Group, we’re now operating as Amnesia Razorfish. Later on, our operations in Greater China will change from e-Crusade to Razorfish, our London office will become Razorfish, and in Germany, our Neue Digitale operations will become Neue Digitale/Razorfish. Finally, in Japan, where we are known as Dentsu | Avenue A | Razorfish, we’ll eventually become Dentsu Razorfish. Our agency in France, Duke, will become “Duke, a Razorfish company;” Here is an example of how we’re cobranding in Australia:
Amnesia Razorfish office signage
This is a significant first step toward operating as a global brand, and we’re also eliminating some identity confusion caused by perpetuating two names. I’m delighted with having a simpler name. A few reasons come to mind:
“Are you with Avenue A or Razorfish?”
“Sorry. Could you repeat your email address s-l-o-w-l-y?”
“Let me get this straight. Your Tokyo office is Dentsu | Avenue A | Razorfish?”
“AARF. Kind of cute. Like a dog.”
“How do I type that weird pipe symbol between Avenue A and Razorfish?”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Have you ever been involved in a company renaming? What was your experience?