When NBC Universal changed the name of the Sci Fi Channel, it received mixed reviews by some, and many fans openly mocked the change. It wasn’t a complete re-branding. In fact, the new name was pronounced exactly the same as the old name, as they simply changed it from the “Sci Fi” Channel to the “SyFy” Channel. But what was the reason for the change? After all, the channel was relatively popular. NBC Universal wanted to broaden the reach of the channel.
But was broadening the appeal of the channel the real reason, or was there more to it? According to the network group chief, Bonnie Hammer, “We couldn’t own Sci Fi but we can own SyFy.” The problem was that Sci Fi was a genre, not a brand. The new identity had two distinct advantages. First, it was spelled differently and second, and most importantly, it could be copyrighted.
When you select a name for a domain, company, product, or brand, remember that picking the right name really matters. A lot more goes into it than many realize and if its not right, change it.