Brand names that could be shortened

With recent name changes for Pizza Hut and Radio Shack (now "The Hut" and "The Shack," respectively), today's brands are shedding old names for a new image. What are some other brands that could do the same thing?

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
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Mozilla Foundation

Name changes are abound in tech and beyond. This week it's Radio Shack, which is rebranding itself as "The Shack" to better represent the variety of electronics it sells.

We've rounded up 20 companies and brands that could (but probably won't) get a rebranding of their own. Some are believable. Others, are pure science fiction.
2 of 21 CNET

Mozilla Foundation

Mozilla rolls off the tongue. It almost sounds like delicious cheese. But instead it's popular and often-experimental software. A name change might keep people who have never heard of the company from thinking it's something they'd want on their meatball hoagie.

The name change: Moz

Used in a sentence: "Frank works for Moz, on their new browser."
3 of 21 CNET

General Mills

General Mills makes all types of foods like breakfast cereals and baking goods. In the future though, the connotation of mills may not click with generations of white collar workers.

The name change: The General

Used in a sentence: "The General makes my Go-Gurt sing."
4 of 21 CNET


µTorrent is one of the most mispronounced pieces of software. If you type in "uTorrent" into any search engine it's the top result, and since µ's (mu's) are not a key on your keyboard, people just continue to use "u" instead. 

The name change: Mew (like New, but Mu!)

Used in a sentence: "I just downloaded all of Shakespeare with Mew."
5 of 21 CNET

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is packing impressive search technology under its belt, but the name may hinder it from becoming something spoken of in casual conversation by tech luddites. The only answer is to simplify.

The name change:  Walpha

Used in a sentence: "Tim used Walpha to find the circumference of his fish bowl."
6 of 21 CNET


Wal-Mart recently underwent an image change with some yellow cuteness on the right that looks like a flower. Though is it enough to lure in people who dislike the brand?

The name change: The Mart

Used in a sentence: "Horrace headed out to The Mart to pick up some soap."
7 of 21 CNET

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn is an ideal candidate for shortening. Neither a barn nor containing (much) pottery, Pottery Barn is a prime example of a store whose name may not make sense to future generations.

The name change: The Barn

Used in a sentence: "I need to head to The Barn to pick up some flatware."

8 of 21 CNET

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel is another store with a name that no longer describes what it sells. The only crates are found in the stock rooms, which customers never see.

The name change: The Barrel

Used in a sentence: "Jim went into The Barrel to look at table chargers."
9 of 21 CNET

TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx has always riffed word play off its title. Its early 1990s campaign touted "Get the Maxx for a minimum." But do people even know what the "TJ" stands for these days? It's just a name, but owes more to parent company TJX Companies Inc.

The name change: The Maxx

Used in a sentence: "Michael needed another dress shirt, so he went to The Maxx"

10 of 21 CNET

National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ)

NASDAQ stands for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. And while it rolls off the tongue a little easier than NYSE, it's missing some of that bold bravado that a brand change could bring.

The name change: The DAQ

Used in a sentence: "I just traded 1,000 shares of Enron on The DAQ."
11 of 21 CNET

Mens Wearhouse

The popular clothing store may offer warehouse pricing, but it's helped create a generation that does not know how to properly spell the word warehouse. To keep people from getting confused, and missing that word on future spelling tests, a name change tweaked a little.

The name change: ManHouse

Used in a sentence: "I just got my suit back from the ManHouse."
12 of 21 CNET

Charles Schwab

This brokerage house has already begun to rebrand itself as "Chuck" in its advertisements. Is it easier to remember someone's name, or a one-syllable grunt?

The name change: Chuck

Used in a sentence: "Frank had to go see his Chuck representative to sell some shares."  
13 of 21 CNET

Foot Locker

Foot Locker just sounds creepy. Is it a locker full of feet, or a place to lock up your foot? Either way, there's something that's little a bit off. Not to mention, you don't just buy shoes there--there are also other items making it a perfect candidate for a rebrand.

The name change: The Locker

Used in a sentence: "I just went to The Locker to pick up some new shoelaces."
14 of 21 CNET


Microsoft is the world's most dominant and profitable technology provider, with software that powers the vast majority of computers around the world. But it's definitely had its fair share of image problems. Maybe a brand change is not all that far-fetched.

The name change: The Softy

Used in a sentence: "The new Softy Office only made me enter my registration code once instead of eight times."
15 of 21 CNET


BlackBerry is technically a brand from parent company Research In Motion (RIM), but short of the capitalization it's also a fruit--and a very specific one at that. A name change could help simplify future offshoots of the BlackBerry family.

The name change: Berry

Used in a sentence: "I've got Berry thumb."
16 of 21 CNET

Best Buy

Best Buy has a wonderfully simple logo, and an easy-to-remember name, but it's not always accurate. Better deals can and often are found elsewhere.

The name change: The Buy

Used in a sentence:  "I went to The Buy to pick up a new pair of headphones."
17 of 21 CNET

Banana Republic

Banana Republic is the luxury brand of Gap Inc.'s retail stores. Most people simply call it "Banana," hence a name change to remove that pesky bit at the end.

The name change: Banana

Used in a sentence: "Zachary was pleased with his new pair of socks from Banana."
18 of 21 CNET

United Parcel Service (UPS)

The United Parcel Service is most frequently referred to simply as UPS. That's easy enough to remember--and so is its color scheme which is brown. Brown trucks, brown uniforms, brown boxes. Even an advertising campaign that simply referred to the company as "brown."

The name change: Brown

Used in a sentence: "The package had one of Brown's tracking codes taped on the side."

19 of 21 CNET

H&R Block

This tax-preparation company is the epitome of the American Dream. Henry and Richard Bloch started the company with very little and ended up making a lot. The two decided to change the name of the company from Bloch to Block to keep people from misspelling, or mispronouncing it. So how about shortening it to make it easier to remember?

The name change: The Block

Used in a sentence: "I got my 1040 filled out at The Block."

20 of 21 CNET

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks Coffee is a colossal brand, which means there's very little reason to ever change it. If, however, they did decide to shorten it up...

The name change: Bucks

Used in a sentence: "The lady at Bucks wouldn't let me order my drink in English."
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Office Depot

The Office Depot does in fact have quite a few office supplies, but just like Bed, Bath & Beyond, there are a ton of things there that aren't always office-specific.

The name change: The Depot

Used in a sentence: "I got a desk at The Depot."

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