AgustaWestland to see THREE name changes in 12 months

AgustaWestland to see THREE name changes in 12 months

5-May-2016 Source: HeliHub.com

The change in a company name, or even a logo, is never something to be done lightly, as the loss of marketing mileage can be enormous.  The internet search engine aspect is more important these days too.  The loss of all the SEO capital built up in a company name and website address is not something to be underestimated.  To do this twice within five months would never be recommended by any logical marketer, let alone three times in twelve months.

The industry was aghast when it was announced in late July 2013 that Eurocopter would become Airbus Helicopters from 1st January 2014 – in line with the renaming of all Airbus group companies under the one Airbus group name.  In reality many in the industry still call it Eurocopter, but from our observation it was really 18-24 months before the “Airbus Helicopters” name had really taken a grip in the market.  It took time, and patience has paid off and the company is now moving forward with their new name.

So is it marketing suicide to have two name changes in five months, or just remarkably poor planning?  And how should we describe three changes in twelve months?

That is what the Italian-British helicopter manufacturer has done, is doing, and will be doing.  On 1st January 2016, all companies previously subsidiaries of Finmeccanica – principally AgustaWestland and Selex in the helicopter market – became part of a single company Finmeccanica and were renamed.  AgustaWestland became known under the snappy title of “the helicopter division of Finmeccanica”.

Then someone came up with the idea to rename Finmeccanica to Leonardo, but at a Shareholders meeting on 28 April, holders of 99.74% of the capital represented at the Meeting voted for an interim name of Leonardo-Finmeccanica until 31st December, and then Leonardo from 1st January 2017.  The company has said that “The decision is aimed at granting the Company a suitable time frame to ensure the required continuity mainly in relationships with foreign countries”.

We suspect betting odds are shorter on the company renaming again before 2020 than were offered on Leicester City winning the Premiership soccer title in the UK at the beginning of the current season.  Most people around the world who follow sport will likely know that this team overcame odds of 5000-1 and took the title in recent days.

On the internet, the domain name http://www.leonardocompany.com/ is already in use.  The situation on Twitter remains confused with the @AgustaWestland handle still in use, with the account name changed, so far, from AgustaWestland to FNM Helicopters and now to Leonardo Helicopters. The domain leonardo.com it taken by a hospitality marketing company.

The unrelated Italian company Leonardo Group – based in Rome – might also have something to say.  That Leonardo Group is “a hub that brings together companies in the world of business and legal consulting services, tourism and real estate, agribusiness and energy” according to their website. 

So that’s different from the Italian company Leonardo that makes helicopters etc.

Headache medication, anyone?

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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