Standard Life Aberdeen Rebrands As ‘Abrdn’, Gets Ruthlessly Mocked By The Internet

Standard Life Aberdeen Rebrands As ‘Abrdn’, Gets Ruthlessly Mocked By The Internet

Asset management company Standard Life Aberdeen has announced its intention to change its brand name to ‘Abrdn’. Perhaps predictably, the change has not gone down well on social media.

In a press release announcing the change, the company said that: “The new Abrdn name (pronounced “Aberdeen”) will be part of a modern, agile, digitally-enabled brand that will also be used for all the Company’s client-facing businesses globally.”

However, many have seen the change as a misguided attempt to appeal to potential young customers by following digital marketing trends.

In a 2019 article by Shivani Gorle for ThinkMatter, a New York based creative branding, design and strategy studio in New York, she writes that, “somewhere along the way vowel-dropping went from a means to an end to an end in itself. What first started as a business-driven decision to secure a dot-com URL has morphed into a mainstream design aesthetic that informs the naming strategies of IRL spaces like dental clinics. It’s even invaded how we speak in conversation with each other.”

Now, brands missing vowels are commonplace, with examples ranging from tech brands like Scribd and Flickr to dating apps like Grindr and film review service Letterboxd.

The brand’s Chief Executive (or should that be Chf Xctv?) Stephen Bird said in the release that, “our new brand Abrdn builds on our heritage and is modern, dynamic and, most importantly, engaging for all of our client and customer channels.”

“It is a highly-differentiated brand that will create unity across the business, replacing five different brand names that have each been operating independently. Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth.”

Abrdn’s attempt to rebrand has failed to capture the imagination of its audience, however, with many ridiculing the idea that losing letters inherently makes a brand more digitally savvy or modern.




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