Overstock.com Markets Name Change
Way back in the dark ages (somewhere in the 1970’s/80’s time frame), it became fashionable to shorten names as a branding exercise. It was first evident in entertainment circles, per our cloudy recollection. Led Zeppelin became Zeppelin or just Zep. Bachman Turner Overdrive was reduced to BTO, etc. The practice eventually made its way into business where Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC.
Today, the desire to be more memorable in shorter bursts for an attention divided consumer audience remains. The latest example of a company trying to address the need (real or imagined) is Overstock.com. The online merchant announced a name change on Overstock.com Coliseum (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, for us old-timers) to O.co Coliseum.
The name change is part of a transition the company began making last year. The website includes the new logo and ads will begin running after Father’s Day to further promote the name change.
"Our customers associate ‘O’ with Overstock.com, which made the transition to O.co seamless. As a savings engine, this is the next step in adding more visibility to our shortcut," said Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, in a press releas. "Naming the facility O.co Coliseum demonstrates our commitment to seeing through the execution of the new domain."
Jonathan Johnson, president of Overstock.com, told Advertising Age, "Our business has changed. We used to be a pure liquidator and our product was all overstock. Now 70 percent of our product is first-run replenishable goods. We’ve been known for a long time as the O. TV commercials back in 2004 used ‘It’s all about the O.’"
The company also maintains that O.co works better in some international markets because of translation issues with the word overstock. Mr. Johnson told Ad Age that plans call for international expansion of the O.co brand.
- Overstock.com Unveils O.co Coliseum – Overstock.com, Inc. /PRNewswire
- It’s Official: Overstock.com is now O.co – Advertising Age
Discussion Questions: What is your reaction to Overstock.com becoming O.co? Do you think there are a set of best practices for companies considering or making a name change?