If Mondelez is accepted by shareholders in a May 23 vote, and I hope to God it’s not, the ticker symbol will be MDLZ. This spin-off company will run the global snacks business. Most of those products are well-known names, so even if the Mondelez name is approved, hopefully we won’t have to hear about it very often. Consumers may not notice at all.
Here’s what Kraft executives had to say about the new name:
Soon to be Chairman and CEO, Irene Rosenfeld:
"For the new global snacks company, we wanted to find a new name that could serve as an umbrella for our iconic brands, reinforce the truly global nature of this business and build on our higher purpose – to ‘make today delicious.’ Mondelez perfectly captures the idea of a ‘delicious world’ and will serve as a solid foundation for the strong relationships we want to create with our consumers, customers, employees and shareholders."
Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beth West:
"It’s quite a job for a single word to capture everything about what we want the new global snacks company to stand for. … “I’m thrilled with the name Mondelez International. It’s interesting, unique and captures a big idea – just the way the snacks we make can take small moments in our lives and turn them into something bigger, brighter and more joyful."
It certainly is quite a job for a single word to capture all of that, which is why it’s not possible for a single word to do that. This is another example of branders run amok. The reputation of a company takes years to build and is based on management’s ability to set a strong vision for the company, stay focused on that vision, and execute in a way that reflects the values that the company wants to promote. Words mean little. Actions much.
I had to laugh when reading The Wall Street Journal article about Kraft’s name change. The author’s name is Julie Jargon. That appears to be her real name, judging by this website. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Journal assigned the story to her as a subtle joke.
If the company truly wanted to create a name that encapsulated “everything about what we want [in] the new global snacks company,” let me suggest this name, pro bono: International Snacks. Consumers and investors will never have to wonder where or what the company sells.