What does Wi-Fi stand for?

We all know the answer.

It’s like Hi-Fi, but a wireless version of course. No, wait. It’s an acronym. Wireless Intelligent Functional Interface. Or maybe it stands for Wire-Free Internet.

The fact is, Wi-Fi doesn’t technically mean anything.

It was created by brand-consulting firm – Interbrand.

Interbrand were approached by the founding members of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (now the Wi-Fi Alliance) to create a name that was a little catchier than their existing mouthful of a moniker, ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’.

The resultant name ‘Wi-Fi’ is indeed catchier. Four letters, forming a name that rhymes, making it easily memorable. The trademarked name Wi-Fi and its ‘yin and yang’ device is now very much part of the vernacular.

It’s a great example of how a brand can be globally accepted by everyone.  

Ok, so how do you manage the acceptance of your rebrand to an external audience?

What does Wi-Fi stand for

In B2B brand management, you will quickly learn that your customers have long memories. Other external stakeholders will have a view of your brand, what it stands for, and what it means to them. You may not be comfortable knowing that their perception is only half right, but you have to be extremely careful in correcting their misapprehension.

Managing a rebrand externally means strengthening relationships rather than threatening them. Involve your customers, perhaps some of the media, and other key influencers, in appraising how the brand is perceived. It may be going a bit far to involve them in the creative development process, but once you have concluded the internal launch, you may want to preview your new story to some of your favoured contacts. Show them that you are grateful for their input and value their opinion. This will make them more understanding of the repositioning that you are going through.

Do not expect overnight changes. You might have worked on a rebrand for a year or more, but it may take some of your external stakeholders two or three years to see the light. The way to speed up this process is to deliver the new story with constancy and consistency. Your level of investment can also impact the speed of change, with a widespread launch using multiple platforms costing more, but delivering quicker results.

Over the last five posts, we have looked at reasons for rebranding, how to successfully rebrand, the most common errors during the process, the management of internal messaging during a rebrand and managing external acceptance. Our introduction has been far from exhaustive, but if you would like to know more about whether a rebrand might be right for you, or how you might go about changing global perceptions, get in touch. We’ll help you show the world.

We’re always on Wi-Fi.

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