NEW YORK (Bloomberg) - Logitech is dropping the tech. That leaves ... Logi.
The computer accessories maker may face a little backlash, if history is any guide. Or the name change could turn out to be genius, if varying pronunciations don't mess with the clean identity shift they're looking for.
New products will be labeled Logi. You're supposed to pronounce it like logic, with an ee instead of an ic. That is, like lodge, as in ski lodge, with a squealing child tacked on to the end.
See, that took a while to explain.
They jettisoned the tech because "tech is everywhere," Charlotte Johs, Logitech's VP of brand development, told Gizmodo. "Tech is in the air you breathe ... It's in your clothes ... In the future, 'tech' doesn't say anything." Whereas Logi ...
Companies often drop outdated descriptors from their brand names, often successfully. Think Apple Computer or Kentucky Fried Chicken.
"Companies, when they start out, find comfort in a descriptive word" as part of their name to announce themselves to consumers, said naming consultant Anthony Shore of Operative Words. "The problem with these words and word parts is that they become dated as companies grow, evolve, and diversify." Hence the latest truncation.
"Is any tech product a tech product anymore, or is it really a consumer product?" the company's CEO, Bracken Darrell, told Fast Company.
The renaming also signals a broader shift in strategy, which might one day include Siri-like functionalities.
"I think, looking into the future of speech recognition, how we talk and communicate with things will change," Darrell said. Logi "helps us be a lot more personal in that world."
But brand name shortenings, even rational ones, don't always stick. Remember when RadioShack tried to force "The Shack" on us? Or when Pizza Hut attempted to discard the key component of its name in favor of "The Hut"?
Both had reasonable explanations for the snappy new names. In 2009, RadioShack certainly sold more than the ham radios of its humble 1921 beginnings. Still, the "The Shack" was attacked as dorky.
"This was a top-down contrivance from those companies," Shore said. "Nobody was naturally using those shortened names. That's why it didn't work."
He doesn't think the Logi move is as inauthentic as RadioShack's empty rebrand.
"Tech is a little dated. It can get dropped," he said. "Using Logi over time, it will get traction." If you can say it.
"One challenge that Logitech might find, or Logi, or however I'm supposed to pronounce their name, is in the pronunciation itself," Shore added. "Is it lo or la? Because it could go either way. And then you've got the g: Is that a hard g or a soft g, like ja? Then there's the i. Is that pronounced ee or eye?"
Dude. It's not like it's Gigli.