Business Name Changes: The French Experience *. (Global Perspective)

By Delattre, Eric | Journal of Small Business Management, October 2002 | Go to article overview

Business Name Changes: The French Experience *. (Global Perspective)


Delattre, Eric, Journal of Small Business Management


Introduction

The name is the main component of any organization's identity. Any decision of corporate name modification has financial, marketing, and strategic effects. Despite the growing number of corporate name changes in recent years, there has been no in-depth analysis on the subject.

The objectives of this article are to evaluate the number and the growth of corporate name change, to critically examine the current typologies of corporate name changes, and to propose a valid classification of name change.

In marketing research, a considerable amount of attention has been given to brand names. Researchers have focused on the naming process (Shipley, Hooley, and Wallace 1988; Kohli and LaBahn 1997), corporate or brand dominant systems (Murphy 1987; Olins 1989; Laforet and Saunders 1994), sound symbolism or special brand names (Klink 2000) [for example, alphanumeric brand names (Pavia and Costa 1993)] or cobranding (Hillyer and Tikoo 1995; Rao, Qu, and Ruekert 1999).

However, research on corporate names has remained limited. For a long time, the choice of a name was a decision taken only when the firm was founded. No event called this initial choice into question. Now, beyond the large number of newsworthy examples (Verizon, WorldCom, TotalFinaElf, and Thales in France), there are more and more corporate name changes. All these high financial stake changes indicate the importance of corporate name.

The objective of this paper is two fold. First, it will evaluate the number and the growth of French corporate name changes, especially for small-and medium-sized firms. Then, a survey will examine the current typologies of name changes and will propose a valid classification.

Quantification of Corporate Name Changes

The existing quantifications of corporate name changes underestimate the magnitude. According to Grossman, Portugal, and Aspach (in Argenti 1994), there were 1,041 corporate name changes in 1985; 1,864 in 1988; and 1,600 in 1989 in the U.S. Aaker (1994) estimates the number of changes at 2,000 in the U.S. Enterprise IG, a consulting firm, counted 3,893 changes of corporate name in the stock exchanges of 57 countries for the year 2000. More precisely there were 2,976 changes in the U.S.; 250 in the United Kingdom; 186 in Canada; 74 in Germany; 56 in France; and 35 in Japan.

The underestimation is due to the difficulty in accounting for changes in the name of small firms. Cooperation with the French Patent Office (INPI) provides more precise data for France (Table 1). These data include the patronymic changes for persons that have been entered individually in the Trade Register. However, it is clear that company name changes are numerous and are growing rapidly In conclusion, the changes of French corporate names are a reality for small businesses. The reasons for name changes are numerous (Kapferer 1997; Delattre 1999); nevertheless, acquisitions and mergers are the perfect examples of events leading to a new name. The correlation between the corporate name changes and the takeover bids is strong (r = 0.71).

The Bulletin Officiel des Annonces Civiles et Commerciales (BODACC) 1 provides some interesting characteristics on name changes. The study of name changes in June and July 2000 indicates the following:

(1) 15.7 percent of corporate name changes are accompanied by a change of the legal status;

(2) 18.6 percent of corporate name changes are accompanied by a modification of activities;

(3) 23.8 percent of corporate name changes are accompanied by a modification of the capital structure (2); and

(4) 48.3 percent of corporate name changes are accompanied by a change of management, administration, or shareholding. This confirms the importance of mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, and others modifications of shareholding or management.

All types of firms are affected by name changes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Business Name Changes: The French Experience *. (Global Perspective)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.