If you’re reading this, you’re one of the (un)lucky ones. It seems that my recent tirades against MBIE have both offended the quick-to-complain Procurement industry, as well us incurring the wrath of LinkedIn’s anti-hate speech algorithms. My blog posts, which have typically been generating circa 15,000 impressions, are now generating 150. That’s one hundred and fifty, not one hundred and fifty thousand. Anyway, on to more family friendly content today, so let’s see if I’m now out of the sin bin.
This week we see Vodafone announcing not just a rebrand, but a wholesale name change. No longer will we be dealing with the good folks at Voda, instead we will be paying our monthlies to One NZ. The instantly recognisable white inverted comma on red now replaced with a pounamu bumhole. Reactions have been mixed to say the least, with many noting the similarities to a flagship news show, or the fact that it sounds like a late-90s white supremacy group. Personally, I quite like it. Like all change, it seems odd at first, but like Telecom-to-Spark before, it will soon seem second nature. I also feel the branding is a bit more Aotearoa, which the pro Te reo CEO would be glad to hear.
Rebranding a company is one thing, but renaming is something else altogether. Given the number of Recruitment firms that exist in New Zealand, a name change is a rare event. Paranoid of a client who hasn’t used you in 5 years searching in vain on Google, most firms try to stick with what they’ve got, even if what they’ve got is…well…lame. Some have been brave enough to take the plunge however, and here’s a quick stroll down memory lane to look at some of those who have:
Law Staff – to – Niche
Shortly after Marissa and Wynnis sold Madison for squillions, the former Legal recruitment specialists decided to branch out. Many new divisions were formed with mixed results, and the new name of “Niche” was decided upon. Interesting that the change to “Niche” represented a shift to being more generalist, but it did allow them to throw away a name which shackled them exclusively to one industry. Personally, I certainly feel it was an improvement.
FutureStep – to – Korn Ferry
Not so much a name change to a shift of emphasis. Fun fact: my first perm placement in New Zealand was into what was known as FutureStep. At the time, I thought it strange. The Korn Ferry brand is hugely respected globally, and yet they always used the FutureStep RPO brand. Thankfully, the global CEO of Korn Ferry probably overheard me spouting off in the pub one day, and shifted the name to Korn Ferry.
vRPO – to – JOYN
How those clowns ever thought vRPO was a good name for a flexible recruitment outsourcing business still astounds me. Thankfully they had the sense to borrow some money and pay an agency to come up with something better. Now, like parents of kids with weird names, they insist that it is capitalised on every bit of written comms – even though they can’t explain why JOYN needs to be shouted. An improvement none-the-less
OCG IT – to – PeopleBank
The Chandler MacLeod/OCG story and brand is a long and complicated one which I have blogged about previously here. Of relevance here is the shift from using the OCG brand for IT recruitment to the IT specific “Peoplebank” brand. Peoplebank, although historically irrelevant here, is a very big deal in Australia. Also, as we see the success that IT specific brands have had in this market, it actually makes a lot of sense to change the letterhead. It also may reflect a shift in emphasis for Chandler MacLeod as they look to gain a bigger slice of that sweet digital pie in NZ.
Ready, Willing & Able – to – RWA
When I arrived in NZ, this Auckland based IT recruitment firm sounded more like what I was looking for in a girlfriend than an agency. Deciding to (wisely) rebrand, they played it safe like many others and decided to be known by an acronym. Looking on their website today, I see no mention of anyone being ready and willing, let alone able. 10/10 for changing it, 3/10 for creativity guys.
Cobalt – to – Assemble and CoLegal
Following the divestiture of Cobalt’s NZ operations, it was wisely decided to rebrand. Cobalt, a global player perhaps, but a name that means very little, was binned for more industry appropriate brands. Without knowing what Assemble or CoLegal recruit, you could take a pretty good f*cking stab at it right? A definite improvement.
Rice Consulting – to – ???
And on to the real point of this blog. Rice Consulting was established by Jonathan Rice in 2009. Taking his Chinese heritage into consideration, he opted for the imaginative “Rice Consulting” moniker. This name has served us well over the years, with most of you lot hopefully knowing who we are. However, as Jon no longer actively runs a recruitment desk within the business, we’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of a rebrand. Given my Uncle Robert has already set up a little agency under his own name, and Scott’s idea of the Burnett Foundation is already in use, family names are out of the window. So that leaves clever puns, faux Latin names, or an inspiring people-related word that isn’t already in use as the only options. Personally, I’d be open to changing our name, but not so much that I want to pay a branding agency. So if you have any ideas, feel free to comment below.