This was a shocking move from Mark Zuckerberg. Definitely unbelievable …even if it was well expected. Today we’re going to mix our analysis, looking at different perspectives. We’re going to use microscopes from various Schools of Thought. And because the analysis will include a perspective that may be a bit strange to some readers, I have to ask that everyone read this with a light heart. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, let’s begin.
Facebook announced it’s name change right in the middle of a scandal. A scandal that painted the firm in a bad light in the media. We might all have read or watched the interviews and confessions made by the whistleblower who worked at Facebook. Amongst other things, she testified (in a nutshell) that Facebook was inciting social division, racism, and violence through its algorithms. The media had this story on 24/7. But it didn’t make much of a difference to the consumption of Facebook by the public.(Because of the addiction that people have on the Product.)
Losing Brand Advantage
Sometimes changing the brand name works, more often when the product is still growing it’s existence. But, once it’s firmly established, consumers may refuse to accept the new changes.
Let’s take an unrelated but important example. The rapper P.Diddy was well known as Puff Daddy. He was firmly established and had a huge serious following. But once he changed his name, it just didn’t stick. As a result, he lost his power position at that time. Snoop Dogg, another rapper who tried to change his name to Snoop Lion failed to have anyone take that name seriously. Even today everyone continues to ignore that name change.
But again, we don’t know the future marketing plans of Meta/Facebook. Maybe they will regain the brand trust they have had over the past decade. But, it may be a bit of challenge…because consumers don’t like confusion when it comes to product consumption.
Winning in Numerology
Facebook was a powerhouse with number 8, which is a powerful number that is identified with strength, power, and dignity. Some serious hardwork too. Likewise, serious competitors as well. On the other hand, Meta is a number 5. In numerology, number 5 is identified with fun, play, and creativity.
So, perhaps losing a power stance for a creative one is the goal of Mark Zuckerberg. Some of us may recall that Meta’s goal is to create a broad virtual world. To do that, one would need to wear a big creative hat. So, if it were to continue wearing the Boss number 8 hat, which is serious and revered, Facebook would fail to expand as a creative company.
He said in his newsletter that:
In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Therefore, from a perspective of numerology, I think we can all agree that Meta is the best name to fulfill Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams.
Whistleblower as a Catalyst
The whistleblower has either ignited a plan that needed a ‘reason’ or an ‘excuse’ to be implemented. Thus, the whistleblower speaking out just at the ‘right time’ would make sense. Right? Because we must remember that Facebook has serious and powerful investors …powerful people who rely on its success to gain more money. Therefore, there is some pressure placed on Mark Zuckerberg to succeed at all costs.
Now, that says if Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make an expansion or changes to the structures of Facebook, he would have required a nod from the investors too. Putting a limitation to his creative process. He would need a “reason” with which to convince the investors that changing the name made business sense.
So, with the whistleblower speaking up, he would have found a perfect reason to convince his investors to buy into his future rebranding plans. I mean, just the bad press on its own was enough reason to convince them that it was time to rebrand.
We must also remember that it would have required years and teams of planning for the rebranding. Thus, it doesn’t make sense to have an ‘overnight rebranding plan’ just in response to the whistleblowing. To me, it would make sense if the Meta plans were already there… just dominant, waiting for a perfect execution opportunity.
RecommendationsI would recommend that Facebook, the platform retains the name. But just for the platform or the App. Such as was the case for WhatsApp and Instagram. They retained their names after Facebook had purchased them. There was no confusion, and the uncertainty was limited.
If Facebook kept the name, as a platform, in that way, Mark Zuckerberg would retain his Facebook consumers and the trust they have invested in the platform over the years.
It would also be preferable if he made Meta an umbrella company instead. A company in which underneath Facebook still operated. In fact, the changes to the name wouldn’t even need to be publicised with this much intensity if that were the case.
Maybe he id moving towards that angle. In his newsletter, he stated that:
From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.
An umbrella Meta company is ideal indeed. We already know from psychology that people hate change. So, companies always risk to lose consumers when they introduce changes that do not directly benefit their consumers.
Finally, we must remember that if Facebook rebranded the App, many companies would lose money too. Because, we must also remember that Facebook is hosting thousands of businesses on its App. Businesses depend on being on Facebook to connect with their own consumers. That means that they too have invested in marketing their Pages on Facebook… Using the name ‘Facebook’ in the Ads or phlyers, etc.
So now, that means that they have to go back to all their marketing material and change the F (Facebook) logo to M (Meta). Basically, it’s rebranding is causing a domino effect for other companies too.
Ladies and gentlemen, we could go on and on. Adding perspectives from the Schools of law, tech, and economics. But for now, have a great day.