According to a WSJ report, Time Inc execs have been tossing around the idea of ditching the Time Inc name in a refresh effort to mark what the company says is it’s successful transforming from a legacy print media company to multi-platform media company. But some would argue that the transformation has not happened yet and changing the name isn’t going to change that reality and in fact changing the name will potentially bring a lot of unwanted attention to that. One name said to have been tossed out there was “Life”, the retired Time Inc magazine brand that was relaunched as a virtual reality product. The company has been desperate to distance itself from its print rooted history. Ever since it was spun off from Time Inc, execs at the company would tell anyone who would listen that they are not a magazine publishing company. The desperation is driven by the continued rise of digital media companies like Vice, Buzzfeed, Vox Media, Ozy Media and others. Time Inc risks squandering some serious brand equity if they ditch the “Time” name. OK, so consumers could care less what the name of the company is just as long as they get their InStyle, Time, People, Fortune and other top Time Inc brands but on the business end, it could be a disaster. Us and others writing about this is no doubt part of Time Inc’s process to see what the response is to them thinking about a name change. Just think Tronc, Trusted Media Brands and other name changes that fell flat recently.
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