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Name criticised

Abrdn rebrand dubbed ‘act of corporate insanity’

Abrdn-offices-in-Edinburgh

The rebrand has drawn ridicule (pic: Terry Murden)

Wealth management group abrdn has come in for new criticism from respondents to an online poll who described the recent rebrand of Standard Life Aberdeen as an “act of corporate insanity”.

The dropped vowels and pronunciation uncertainty drew ridicule when it was unveiled earlier this year.

Now those who took part in a recent survey, conducted by online comparison website Investing Reviews, singled out abrdn as the worst investment brand in the UK.

Respondents were asked to consider a number of brand’s overall messaging, tone, imagery, strapline and the language used.

Around one in seven respondents to the poll said the abrdn website was the one they disliked the most, with 65% among them claiming the brand was “too bland”, while 55% thought it was “uninspiring”.

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird: new brand was embraced by clients

Others described the rebrand, led by Wolff Olins, as “ridiculous”. One respondent, who claimed to be a shareholder in the company, said it was “embarrassing”.

The firm, which sold the Standard Life name to Phoenix, has defended the change. Chief executive Stephen Bird said it unified a number of businesses that were operating under different names.

Mr Bird told a media briefing in May that the board had been prepared for a backlash when it unveiled its new brand name.

Last month he said: “We have had a phenomenal response from employees. We are very happy with it.” He said clients had fully embraced it.

Other asset managers were criticised in the online poll, including Rathbones and Baillie Gifford, which were voted the second and third worst website brands respectively.

Respondents said the Rathbones website was too wordy, while the black theme adopted by Scottish asset manager Baillie Gifford was called “sinister” and “creepy” by some respondents.

Meanwhile, Jupiter was criticised out for being “too woke” by 45% of the respondents who disliked its brand, with the sustainable investment messaging on its website considered to be “obvious virtue signalling”.



One Comment to Abrdn rebrand dubbed ‘act of corporate insanity’

  1. I am also a shareholder and think the new name ABRDN is ridiculous. I made my views known to the company regarding this Tommy Knowall CEO. All he has managed to do since taking over is slash the dividend and cause the share price to dive. It is time the board collectively stood up against his dictatorship.

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