Facebook’s new name has been long in the planning and is not an attempt to distract from the current maelstrom of negative media coverage, insists chief marketing officer Alex Schultz.
“You can’t change a company’s reputation with a brand name,” he told Forbes. “Brand names have to represent something.”
In this case, the name aims to reflect the investment the business is making in the metaverse and is not “trying to do a paint job”.
“This is, I think, a successful rebrand if we’re clearly running toward something,” he added. “The fact that we’re doing the rebrand this week shows that we’re not running from anything – it’s the worst week to run away from anything.”
Why it matters
Whatever one’s view on the timing, it’s a piece of brand architecture that arguably should have been put in place months or years ago to differentiate the different platforms the company owns; Schultz himself acknowledged the confusion of having to say things like “Instagram by Facebook”.
At the same time, the new name sets the company up to be intimately associated with a coming VR metaverse. While founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Meta won’t repeat the mistakes made at Facebook, he’s likely to carry the whiff of ongoing PR problems there.