Overstock retreats from O.co name change

Internet retailer resurrects old Overstock.com brand for Web site and ads "for now" following customer confusion, its president tells AdAge. But Overstock says switching to the O.co brand is still a goal.

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Overstock.com spent millions of dollars for the naming rights of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum--now known as the O.co Coliseum. Overstock.com

Just months after rolling out a media blitz to promote its new branding, Internet retailer Overstock.com is backpedaling on its O.co moniker.

The company ran TV ads declaring that "Overstock.com is now O.co," revamped its Web site's signage to O.co, and spent millions of dollars on the naming rights to the stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area where the Oakland Raiders and Oakland Athletics play.

But now the company concedes that it was too aggressive with the rebranding strategy and is stepping back from the effort "for now," Overstock.com President Jonathon Johnson told AdAge.

"We were going too fast and people were confused, which told us we didn't do a good job," Johnson told AdAge. "We're still focused on getting to O.co, just at a slower pace...We're not flipping back, we're just refocusing."

Apparently a "good portion" of people attempting to visit the site were instead going to O.com, a single-letter domain still reserved by ICANN.

The company plans to return to its former Overstock.com branding on its Web site and in TV and online ads for the holiday shopping season. But the company will stick with the O.co for international and mobile efforts, and the O.co sign will remain on the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum throughout its six-year naming contract.

The retreat may remind some of Netflix's famous flub when it announced and then canceled plans recently to spin off the company's DVD-by-mail operations to a service called Qwikster. But Overstock assures us that switching to the O.co brand is still its goal.