Six months after its inauguration, Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive has changed its name to Factiva (fact-tee-vuh) (http://www.factiva.com), a name designed to reflect an "Information-You-Need, When-You-Need-It" company. Unveiling the new name, Factiva's president and chief executive officer, Tim Andrews, said, "Our new name will become synonymous with fast, accurate, and indispensable information."
Andrews announced the new name change in an employee meeting in London, while vice president and director of marketing Michele Lally announced the change in Princeton, New Jersey. Customers first saw the new name and its new logo at Factiva's exhibit booth at the Internet Librarian '99 conference in San Diego, where a bubble machine reflected the image of the ebullient new logo. Further announcement sessions are planned for all the company's worldwide offices. All employees had received a series of "teaser" mailings leading up to the announcement.
The company plans to continue tapping its exclusive access to over 4,000 Dow Jones and Reuters journalists in over 30 countries to generate business information worldwide, combined with thousands of outside sources. The re-branding effort also kicks off the re-launch of the company's Web site at http://www.factiva.com and will involve a targeted advertising campaign.
The re-branding effort will employ the assistance of Interbrand, a global consultancy, to collaborate on staff and customer research and to develop the brand name, brand position, and corporate identity. They have already conducted focus group interviews with current and prospective customers, as well as internal staff. According to Andrews, these studies showed that "In addition to their concerns of being overwhelmed with information, current and prospective customers of the company said they value services that have depth and breadth of information—both globally and locally—and that provide search features to locate the facts relevant to their decision making. Current customers told us they valued the reliability of the information and the speed of searches compared to free Internet searches, as well as the reputation and integrity of the parent companies
"A new logo [right] focuses on the semiotics of the letter ‘i'," according to a Factiva announcement, "The circle of the ‘i' reflects all possibilities and the downstroke represents fact. This icon reflects the nature of the product to the market which is encapsulated in the brand statement ‘Inspiring Business Decisions.'"
When asked for the logic behind the name change, Michele Lally said that the legal name for the company will remain Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive, but all the products from the new company will carry the Factiva tag, e.g., Factiva Open Solutions, Factiva Intranet Toolkit, etc. Independent online products will continue to emerge from the parent companies, e.g., dowjones.com from Dow Jones and Reuters Inform from Reuters. All company presentations, including voice mail, will use the Factiva name. The two leading products—Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefing—will continue to be merged into one unified product for release in mid-2000.
One prominent customer of Dow Jones and Reuters services with whom we spoke considered it a mistake to give up two leading brand names known all over the world. "You don't give away brand names any more than any other asset."
We asked Lally whether the new name indicated preparation for an IPO, an increasingly popular trend among large companies with Internet units. She replied, "No comment."