In 2002, the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers—now known as PwC—rebranded its consulting business. The move wasn’t entirely voluntary: The US Congress had just passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in response to the accounting scandals of the previous few years (Enron, WorldCom, et al.), and firms like PwC were feeling the heat. PwC worked with a global branding agency, Wolff Olins, and in June 2002 announced the consulting business’s new name: Monday. It was meant to suggest “a fresh start,” spokespeople said. The company planned to invest $110 million through fiscal 2003 to establish the Monday brand.
Via BBC, July 30, 2002
The response from the outside world was … not kind. It probably will not shock you to learn that Monday—the day of the week—isn’t popular.
“Ask someone to name their least favourite words. The chances are that ‘Monday’ will come somewhere on the list,” the Irish Times snarked. An opinion writer for IT Week called the new name “bizarre” and said it represented “spin triumphing over substance.” German observers pointed out that “Monday” suggested low quality, as in “Monday cars” assembled before workers have recovered from the weekend.
Just another case of hating new names until we don’t? We never had a chance to find out: In July 2002, IBM bought PwC’s consulting unit and renamed it, in classic IBM fashion, the IBM Consulting Group.
But something about “Monday” must have resonated in the culture at large, because 19 years later, the name is thriving. It’s attached unapologetically to swimwear, haircare products, a team-management system, and at least four unrelated brand agencies in Canada, Macedonia, the UK, and the US.
My Monday explorations started when Instagram’s blind-squirrel algorithm served me a promoted post from Monday Swimwear, probably because I sometimes post swimming photos. The company was founded in Los Angeles in 2014 by an Australian Instagram model, Natasha Oakley, and her fellow swimsuit blogger, Oakland-born Devin Brugman. I could not find an explanation for the “Monday” name.
From there, I just started Monday-hopping.
Monday haircare launched in March 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Almost immediately, it got the wrong sort of press: from hairdressers complaining the products caused hair damage. The website’s home page suggests the rationale for the name: “Welcome the week with luxury haircare—because why should Friday get all the attention?”
The team-management company Monday, which snagged the coveted Monday.com domain, was founded in New York in 2012. I’d never heard of this Monday, nor have I ever used a team-management “solution,” but now of course I’m getting promoted tweets from the company.
“Make Monday great,” enthuses a handwritten welcome on the UK Monday’s home page (MondayAgency.com). At least I think this company is in the UK; the site is vague on this sort of detail. It does have a credo, though: “Monday believes that brands have a unique opportunity to provide value in the new customer environment.” They do brand strategy, brand identity, digital design, and other related things. (Hat tip: Mark Gunnion.)
Macedonian Monday (themonday.co) builds “digital brand stories.”
Hello Monday is a creative studio in New York, Copenhagen, and Aarhus that “handcrafts digital (and magical) products, brands, and experiences.”
Then there’s Monday Creative, in Vancouver, BC, which claims to “build brands that enhance the human potential.” One of those brands is Lululemon. I like Monday Creative’s footer statement, especially for its typography: “WE LIVE, WORK AND PLAY ON THE BEAUTIFUL BUT UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE XʷMƏΘKʷƏY̓ƏM (MUSQUEAM), SḴWX̱WÚ7MESH (SQUAMISH), AND SEL̓ÍL̓WITULH (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) NATIONS. WE ARE INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL.” This sort of acknowledgment is becoming more common here in the Bay Area, and maybe elsewhere in the US, but Vancouver is where I first encountered it.
The aforementioned are (presumably) positive usages of “Monday.” I did find a Bad Monday “tattoo-inspired apparel” brand in the UK. The business may have started at a challenging time, but it now has a rather chipper brand personality.
Why the surge in “Monday” branding? It may have something to do with Cyber Monday, a term that didn’t exist before 2005, when it was invented by the US National Retail Federation to encourage shopping on the Monday after Thanksgiving. If you’d previously associated Mondays with the Mamas and the Papas’ breakup song (“can’t trust that day”) or the Boomtown Rats’ school-shooting anthem (“I don’t like Mondays”), now you had a reason to turn that frown upside down.
By the way, if you’re now thinking of jumping on the Monday-brand bandwagon yourself (which, for the record, I don’t advise), here’s a hot tip: the domain that PwC briefly used to announce its spinoff—IntroducingMonday.com—can be yours for $2,795.