There have been raised eyebrows about the rebranding of Andersen Consulting as Accenture and the Post Office taking on the new corporate name Consignia. These have mostly been the usual cynical comments about the 'wasted' millions spent on rebranding, and derision directed at the 'meaningless' Jabberwocky-esque new names.
It's not merely about vanity, although both wanted a name which would reflect their values and activities now and in the future, rather than being attached to the history of the company. Both have sound reasons, since Andersen Consulting was forced to change its identity to differentiate itself from Arthur Andersen, and the Post Office would have had to have rebranded as it became a plc anyway, so why not go the whole hog?
And as for the names being 'made-up', virtually every word in the English language has already been registered as a web domain name, so it makes sense to create something new.
Only time will tell whether Accenture and Consignia become successful new brands. There have been some high-profile rebranding flops, but also some big successes: just look at Nike. It was far from being a household name when it was Blue Ribbon Sports, before being rebranded in 1971 with the name of the winged Greek goddess of victory. Who's to say that Accenture's 'greater than' symbol won't be the swoosh of the Noughties?