Abrdn: Standard Life Aberdeen vowel-less rebrand mocked

Abrdn: Standard Life Aberdeen vowel-less rebrand mocked thumbnail

Investment house Standard Life Aberdeen has announced a new name – with most of its vowels removed.

The firm said its new name “Abrdn” would still be pronounced “Aberdeen”, but that the rebrand would make it “modern” and “dynamic”.

In a video posted on Twitter, it said the “A” would be taken from “Standard Life”, rather than Aberdeen.

The decision drew some jokes online from those who were not impressed by the name change.

“Our new brand Abrdn builds on our heritage and is modern, dynamic and, most importantly, engaging for all of our client and customer channels,” said chief executive Stephen Bird.

But Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, questioned whether the brand resembled a typo.

“Standard Life Aberdeen needed to sort out its branding, but the new Abrdn name will likely leave investors feeling dazed and confused.

“Investors need simple fund names that are recognisable amongst the thousands of investments out there, and having a brand name you can actually say, even if it’s only in your head, is a big help.”

He added that the firm’s need to explain how to pronounce the new name would “not be lost on financial advisers up and down the country”.

An £11bn merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management created Standard Life Aberdeen in 2017.

The new firm had six brands and websites until the recent sale of the nearly 200-year-old Standard Life brand to another financial giant, Phoenix.

The singular “Abrdn” rebrand, announced on Monday, will mark the “next stage in the reshaping of the business”, it said in a statement.

It will be rolled out from this summer, although some social media users were unconvinced by the update.

image copyright@PDColinton

image copyright@matthewlee2

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bird defended the move, saying that it was “not a lot of money to develop the identity” and it would “enable better investments”.

Rebrands for big firms have proven tricky to navigate in the past. Royal Mail, for example, caused a public outcry after it suggested a name change to “Consignia” in 2002.

More recently, Volkswagen was greeted with derision after an April Fool’s joke misfired. The German car giant was forced to deny that it was changing its name to “Voltswagen” in the US, despite having said in a press release that it would.

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