[Portions of the following blog originally appeared as a post on Forbes.com that Edward Segal wrote as a Leadership Strategy contributor. His other posts on Forbes.com can be read at https://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardsegal/2021/08/24/meet-americas-best-employers-by-state-2021/?sh=58b5067f4974]
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that the company has changed its name to Meta — Greek for “beyond” —is an example of a marketing tactic that has been used to divert attention from an organization that has received negative publicity and is confronting a crisis situation.
It’s doubtful, however, that the name change will do anything to help alleviate any of the crises or controversies now confronting the company.
Mark Bayer, president of Bayer Strategic Consulting, noted that, “A name change now—when Facebook is under intense scrutiny—reinforces the perception the company is trying to elude responsibility for its lengthening list of misdeeds. Even if disconnected from the current crisis, the name change will be seen as a clumsy PR move. It’s a gift for comedy writers everywhere.”
Zuckerberg said the name change was made to “reflect who we are and what we hope to build…Building our social media apps will always be an important focus for us. But right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.