After 17 years, Dallas-based digital shop IMC2 is getting a dramatic rebrand: It's changing its name to MePlusYou.
Of course, agency-name changes happen from time to time. For instance, players such as J. Walter Thompson or Crispin Porter Bogusky, wanting to put some distance between themselves and their iconic founders, have shortened their names to simply JWT or CP&B.
We've also seen a trend of stronger agency brands' replacing those will less momentum; in recent times, for example, JWT's Minneapolis office rebranded Digitaria, and the McGarryBowen name replaced Dentsu in Europe.
But IMC2's choice is far more dramatic, given that the name MePlusYou bears no resemblance to the one the company had for nearly two decades. That's rare. One similar occurrence was Agency.com's rebranding to Signal to Noise (shortly before the entity disappeared altogether).
IMC2 CEO Doug Levy told Ad Age that the change reflects the start of a new era at the agency.
"We've done great work associated with our name, and yes, we're leaving some of that behind," Mr. Levy said. "But now our name is catching up." MePlusYou "better reflects what we're doing with clients," he added.
It could also be a way to kick-start the shop, where annual revenue has been declining since the downturn. The Ad Age DataCenter reported that IMC2 had $61.2 million in U.S. revenue in 2008 and $46.6 million last year.
According to Mr. Levy, MePlusYou is intended to illustrate a focus on the relationships between brands and consumers, while the old name limited the shop to digital associations.
"When we started -- when we had a staff of five people, a tiny office and were doing digital work -- we came up with [IMC2,] the name that sounded digital and smart, like Einstein," Mr. Levy said. "What we've seen is that agencies with our background, with heritage in digital and social, are in the position to take over as creative agency."
Mr. Levy's comments echo those of Bob Greenberg, chairman-CEO of R/GA, who has also been vocal about his agency's ability to handle projects beyond digital. But its name has remained the same.
What do you think?
Does it make sense for an agency that has evolved from its original mission to change its name to reflect another image in the marketplace? (One wonders, for example, if "Publicis Modem" is overly limiting when dial-up internet is so last century.)
Or do you think that such a sharp departure signifies abandoning a reputation that took years to earn?
Share your thoughts on agency rebrands in the comment section. And if you're a shop considering a name change but can't think of one, give our cheeky Agency Name Generator a whirl.